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Early Vancouver 

Volume Seven 

By: Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. 

2011 Edition (Originally Published 1956) 

Narrative of Pioneers of Vancouver, BC Collected between 1931-1956. 

About the 2011 Edition 

The 2011 edition is a transcription of tine original work collected and published by Major Matthews. 
Handwritten marginalia and corrections Matthews made to his text over the years have been incorporated 
and some typographical errors have been corrected, but no other editorial work has been undertaken. 
The edition and its online presentation was produced by the City of Vancouver Archives to celebrate the 
1 25*^ anniversary of the City's founding. The project was made possible by funding from the Vancouver 
Historical Society. 

Copyright Statement 

© 201 1 City of Vancouver. Any or all of Early Vancouver may be used without restriction as to the nature 
or purpose of the use, even if that use is for commercial purposes. You may copy, distribute, adapt and 
transmit the work. It is required that a link or attribution be made to the City of Vancouver. 


High resolution versions of any graphic items in Early Vancouver are available. A fee may apply. 

Citing Information 

When referencing the 201 1 edition of Early Vancouver, please cite the page number that appears at the 
bottom of the page in the PDF version only, not the page number indicated by your PDF reader. Here are 
samples of how to cite this source: 

Footnote or Endnote Reference: 

Major James Skitt Matthews, Early Vancouver, Vol. 7 (Vancouver: City of Vancouver, 201 1 ), 33. 

Bibliographic Entry: 

Matthews, Major James Skitt. Early Vancouver, Vol. 7. Vancouver: City of Vancouver, 2011. 

Contact Information 

City of Vancouver Archives 

1 150 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 3J9 

604.736.8561 \^.*A- r\TV rW /^*^~^ L.I I Y Ur X/AW^t^l IX/FR 




Item # Early Van_v7_001 


March 8, 1957. 

Major J, S, Matthews, 
Vancouver City Arohlvlat, 
City Hall, 
Vancouver , B , C , 

Dear Major Matthews: 

I am attaching herewith copy of a letter I 
have just directed to the Honourable E. C, Westwood 
in connection with Volume 7 of your compilation on 
Early Vancouver . Certainly the Minister did everything 
possible to carry out your instruct ions but unfortunately 
I was absent from the office because of Illness. The 
volume has been safely received and vie are very happy 
to add it to our holding. 

I can fully appreciate the amount of effort 
that has gone into preparation of each of these volumeB, 
and I am most appreciative of your though tfulness In 
making a copy available to ub. 

With every good wish, I remain. 

Yours sincerely. 

Provincial Librarian and Archivist, 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_002 

House of Coinmons 
Can a. da 

Ottawa , 

ferch 12th, 1957. 

Ma j or J . S . Matthews , V . D . , 
City Archivist, 
City Hall, 
Vancouver 10, B.C. 

Dear Major : 

I received your letter of March 7th 
and late last week Volume 7 of "Early Vancouver" arrived. 
Yesterday I had the great honour of presenting it to Vac, 
F. A. Hardy, the parliamentary librarian. 

Both he and I have been very much 
impressed by the volume and vfe think you are deserving 
of great praise for your long and painstaking work in 
preparing this record of Vancouver, You have reason to _ 
feel great satisfaction over your achievement and in life 
it does mean so much for one to be able to feel that. 

¥ith my kind personal regards and 
best wishes, 

Yours sincerely, 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_003 




aa'(^ March 12, 1957. 

Dear Major Matthews, 

Mr. Howard Green M.P, has just 
brought in to rae Volume 7 of the valuable work you 
have complied on early Vancouver. 

We are veiy proud to possess the 
first six volumes, and this additional one is of 
great value. I found it fascinating to look through 
it and study the excellent and most interesting 
photographs which have been bound into it. It seems \ 
to me that of all the cities in Canada Vancouver is / 
the only one vrtiose history has been so well covered, * 

I may say that we have been keeping 
and will keep this set in a locked-up room so that 
there will be no danger of it being lost, stolen, or 
mishandled. However, it will be accessible to students 
or historians. 

With many thanks, and hoping that 
you will be able to carry on as Archivist for many 
more years, I am. 

Yours sincerely. 

F. A, HaivJy, 
Parliamaitary Librarian. 

Major J, S. Matthews, V.D., 
City Archivist, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_004 

City Archivift 
Majox J. S, Matthews, V.D. 


Assisinnt Archi-^iit 
Mii5. J. G. Gipus 

Vat-'CWI^ EA fl it. 



I rfST.H 193 3 

KaMh U, lOST. 



CITY trmdmrn. 

Te«T Worship , 

and Memiars of the Oounelli 

I hftTO thift honor to snbnlt te yen a a«it«neo 
£FOM a lot tor, ll«reh 12th, reoeivAd froa f.a. Bar^, 
Farllainentary LLhrarlaa, Ottawa. Ee wrltoo: 

•xr Bxam 70 Ml iBOS or au. the citi^ o7 

cMJiA, TMoDnrrat is ms oiult one wbosis 


This groat ooaq>llaent to this Gltsr la dlreetly 
Otto to the aot of the Council of 1933, who, fben on the 
ISth of 3im& of that year I applied for permission to 
uao the title "City ArehiTiat**, granted the recEaeat# 

Their nenos wore Mayor Taylor, Alderauni Cowan » 
DeGraTes, ^eptforft, flarrey, Loat, MeJDonald, McRae, laUer, 
Sinlth, Shinnlek, Twlss and Wilklnaon, and to them the 
posterity of VanooUTer and, IncUxeetiy, thoao of British 
Columbia and of Canada, nust ever remain gratetUl for 
their vladoa* Had that resolution not paaaod tihat 
■ig^t BOt hoTO been. All honour to then. 

I have the honor to be, airs 

Tonr ohedl^it serrant 

V. S. Ufttthews" 

Bis Worship the Mayor and 

City Oouneil, 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_005 

Early Vancouver 

volume seven 



Narratives of Pioneers 
Collected between 1931 and 1956. 


Compiled by 

Major J. S. Matthews, V.D. 

City Archivist 


Assisted by 
Mrs. Alera Way 

^■Wat^J^MtA'-^a tJ: 


Her Majistv thi Qurkw and H» Worship DR.TpLFORp, M.D, 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_006 

[photo annotation:] 

Her Majesty the Queen and His Worship Dr. Telford, M.D. 

May 29, 1939 

Photo by Arthur E. French, manager. Photo Dept., "Post-Intelligencer" Seattle, Wash. Hon. Ian Mackenzie 
minister of National Defence (tall gentleman). 

Copyright City Archives Permission to copy, letter Oct 17, 1940, granted City Archives by Mr. French, who 
graciously sent many his photos Royal Visit to Buckingham Palace. 

The City .ATiU'ivfSjVg-ticnuvCi: iqai 

iflS,g}tab;iih ed. tWp. Lit.yAichnes in tW, -. alsLiafimanJitiaM 

ta b ti e ha flutf . t mn. wall pn p rjjim; ^ i n f E S loau'.. onsLi ■. ■■.-t^iuher., and llaT^t>■L „t^ K',n.„J 

cwfiTrtU^ fttiri w-tfh rt ^qU nnri ^f^nWi^tj ^nn'*h 

■ n t tii >» v.i , B. ^ - ^rj; ' ar^r.?=;;a-"n esm:f?fffei^!^^ 

waaiilaLljd thp Mihnlf ej HigW.-nlU ^loft-e^ if.ll ,^ pei,p?H'i,i iij^i.phot,, bj -RnT' 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_007 


[photo annotation:] 

August 14, 1931 The City Archives, Vancouver, 1931. Known as "The Deserted 


After many years private endeavor at his Kitsilano home, here, in May 1931, Major J. S. Matthews, 
pioneer, 1 898, established the "City Archives" in this old room in the tower of the former City Hall on Main 
street. He left it before Christmas 1932, and on 13 June 1933 was given accommodation in the 
Temporary City Hall, Hastings St. The old room had been vacant for 30 years; was the dirtiest room in 
Vancouver, plaster ceiling had fallen and lay on the floor; cobwebs and torn wall paper hung in festoons, 
and the feathers and bones of a pigeon, dead many years lay where it had died. The floor was a thick 
mass of dried paint of every hue, and windows were kept open with any prop available, usually a stick. 
Major Matthews applied to the Library Board for the use of it, and permission being granted, he himself, in 
overalls and with a pail and scrub[b]ing brush from his home, began cleaning and arranging. No one 
came near for days at a time; he was alone. On the glass pane of the upper half of a plain door, he 
affixed by the gum of its flap a business envelope on which he had written "City Archives"; the title he 
chose. With no funds save his own, he furnished it with a discarded desk, a chair held together with wire; 
a waste paper basket without a bottom, and a cardboard merchandise carton for a fyling cabinet. 
Bookshelves were created with boards separated between blocks of wood. There was neither heat, 
electric light, water, janitor service, telephone, typewriter, supplies or salary. Ultimately he was allow- to 
expend up to thirty dollars per month for purchases. In this room, he remained two summers and one 
winter, without light, he went home when it got too dark to work; without heat he worked in his overcoat. 
Visitors were few, about one every two weeks. At his home on Kitsilano Beach was a mass of historical 
material collected during 33 years since 1898; all about Vancouver and vicinity only, and each morning 
for 20 months he carried a parcel of it in his hand as he went by street car to his "City Archives." The 
former dirty chamber gradually assumed a humble but attractive appearance, and was comprised of a 
mass of historical pictures and papers owned by Mrs. Matthews and himself, and who were offering it to 
the Citizens of Vancouver as a gift. 

The Library Board, on the advice of its Librarian, then formally notified Major Matthews that he could no 
longer pursue his endeavors under their tutelage, but wrote the Provincial Archivist, Victoria, John Hosie, 
that, actually, they were putting his aside so that they could continue it themselves. Mr. Hosie promptly 
sent the letter to Major Matthews. The City Solicitor, J.B. Williams, warned Major Matthews to remove 
everything, and quickly. During Christmas week, 1932, quietly and unobserved, it was returned to his 
home. When the Librarian inspected the room and found it empty, immediate demand was made that he 
bring it back, or suffer prosecution if he did not. The timely and kindly warnings of Mr. Hosie and Mr. 
Williams had averted a foul attempt to hypothecate the private possessions of a gracious, generous lady, 
and of a man who had worked in the public weal, without any remuneration, for years. 

For 5 months Major Matthews continued his archival efforts at his home. On 13**^ June 1933, the City 
Council granted his request for permission to use the title "City Archivist"; allotted a small unfurnished 
room in the Temporary City Hall to his use; gave a gratuity of twenty five dollars monthly, and notified the 
Library Board of what they had done. It is scarcely creditable that a man, voluntarily endeavoring to 
establish so laudable a civic institution, should, together with his gracious wife, have had to endure 
injustice, insult, and, finally, a deliberate attempt to take, by force, a private collection which had been in 
his home for a quarter of a century, and which he, generously of his own volition, and at his own expense, 
had fallen into the hands of the Library Board. The disgraceful incident was attributed to jealousy. In 
December 1 936 the new City Hall was opened, the "City Archives" was allotted the whole of the ninth 
floor, still occupied in 1951. Photo by Rowland J. Towers, June 1931. 

[Letter from J.S. Matthews to George Fitch.] 

2083 Whyte Ave. 
Kitsilano Beach, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

31^' July, 1931. 

Dear Mr. Fitch: 

Your reply to my question in our momentary conversation today prompts me to ask if you 
could consent to approach His Worship to donate to the Vancouver City Library all such 
interesting historical papers, documents, invitation cards, etc., etc., which he has received during 
his long term as Mayor of Vancouver. By "all" is meant, such as he would care to part with. 

It would seem that there would be a wealth of historical information about men and 
things, and perhaps he would like to have them placed where they would be treasured and 
preserved for posterity. 

For your private, and unofficial information, may I say that the Library Board granted me 
the use of a room at the Old City Hall, and I have gathered together there quite a lot of stuff about 
Vancouver in the old days. If His Worship would care to have me explain what has been 
collected, and how his treasures would be taken care of, I should welcome the opportunity very 

Faithfully yours, 

J.S. Matthews. 

George Fitch, Esq. 

City Hall, 


Note: Mr. Fitch was Secretary to Mayor Louis D. Taylor at this time. It is interesting to note that this letter 
was written two years before Major Matthews was appointed City Archivist. 





City Clerk's 


June 13th, 1933. 

His Torshlp Mayor L.D. Taylor, 
Mayor's Office, 
City Hall, City. 

Dear Sir: 



ve City Archivist - l.'a.lor 


I beg to notify you of the following recom- 
mendation of thi Piiance SomTnlttee, which was adopted 
by Council on the 21th 

"^ecommendea that Major J.n. Itatthews be 

appointed Qity Archivist and ^hfj/f J;\f ^^^00 per 
his services as an honorarium, the suii of ^^i>, JU per 


It was further recoramenSed that His ■;^or3hip 
the ravor he rlquested to appoint a Committee for the 
purpose of finding office acconmodatlot. where exhibits, 
etc. may be kept." 

Yours truly. 


sent to - 

Kajor J.S. Matthews. 

Actir:g Comptroller. 

City Accountant, 




Item # EarlyVan_v7_008 



SCENE: Granville Street sidewalk. His Worship Mr. Taylor is approaching his apartment, Granville 

Mansions, corner Granville and Robson streets. Major Matthews meets him. Both men 
stop and greet each other, then converse: 

Matthews: "Thank you very much for what you did." 

(He is referring to his appointment as City Archivist and the gratuity of $25 a month. 
Council resolution, 13*^ June 1933) 

Taylor: "I'd have done more. But those aldermen — they are only a lot of ignoramuses. They 

never read." 

November 12*, 1935. 

[Letter from Charles E. Tisdall.] 

His Worship the Mayor, 

and Members of the City Council, 

City Hall, 


Your Worship and Gentlemen: 

Budget Committee. 

Your Special Committee appointed to deal with Budgetary Matters, begs to submit the 
following report for adoption: 

4. Re City Archivist. 

Details were submitted with regard to various matters which have been under 
consideration during recent months in connection with the activities of the City Archivist, and your 
Committee has further considered the joint report of Alderman Lembke and the City Comptroller, 
with regard to the City Archivist, dated June 20'^ last, which report was submitted to Council on 
July 2" and referred back. Your Committee has amended the report in some particulars and now 
presents it herewith for favourable consideration: 

"Pursuant to a recommendation of the Budget Committee of April 1 7*, 1 935, that 
Alderman Lembke and the City Comptroller be appointed to interview Major Matthews, 
City Archivist, and bring in a definite proposal as to the further operation of the City 
Archives Department, your Committee has had several interviews with Major Matthews, 
and begs to report as follows: 

"Major Matthews was appointed as City Archivist under a recommendation of the 
Finance Committee, dated June 7"^, 1933, which was adopted by Council on June 12*^, 
1 933. Under this resolution an honorarium in the sum of $25.00 per month was granted 
to Major Matthews, who has devoted the whole of his time to this work, and apparently 
has expended a considerable amount of personal cash in acquiring material of an historic 

"Your Committee is of the opinion that this honorarium of $25.00 is insufficient, 
and that some increase should be granted, also that as stenographic help, stationery, 
postage, supplies, etc., are necessary if the Archives work is to be carried on, some 
appropriation is necessary in this connection. 

"In view of the City's present financial position, your Committee feels that it 
cannot recommend too large an increase at this time, but it would suggest that the 
honorarium to Major Matthews should be raised to $50.00 per month as from July 1^', 


1 935, and that an appropriation of $50.00 per montli to cover stenograpliic lielp, 
stationery, postage, and miscellaneous purchases should be provided. This would mean 
a total of $600.00 for the six month period to the end of 1 935, or an additional $450.00 to 
the existing appropriation. These appropriations would come under the same control as 
other Civic appropriations, and would require that Major Matthews should submit payrolls 
and requisitions for supplies, which would pass through the regular channels for 

Respectfully submitted, 
Charles E. Tisdall, Chairman 
Acting Mayor. 

News Herald (first week in January, 1939.) 

Mayor In Role Of Prince Charming 


City Archives, Cinderella department of the civic machine, has found its Prince Charming in 
Mayor J. Lyie Telford. 

Nobody's baby, a branch of civic endeavor without a city father, the department has been 
buffeted about from once council to the next. It has come under the wing of no aldermanic 
committee; it has been starved financially to the point of almost death. 

It has been the joke and at the same time the mystery department at the city hall. The mystery 
has been caused by the way in which it has survived, continued to function and develop; by the 
fact that while elected representatives could see no great use for it, outside bodies have found it a 
mine of useful information. 

Now everything is to be changed. 

Escorted by Sergeant-at-Arms Alex. McKay his Worship made a tour of each department of the 
city hall Tuesday. And arrived finally on the ninth floor where Major J.S. Matthews has his 

Mayor Telford had not got far inside the room before he was obviously enthusiastic. "I have only a 
minute to stay just now," he said, "but I'll come back" — but he stayed nearly half an hour. Later he 
went to the tenth floor where he inspected the wonderful collection of Indian relics to be found 

In conversation with The News-Herald later his Worship frankly admitted his enthusiasm. "Why 
we have something really worth-while there," he exclaimed. 

He then related plans already under consideration for having motion pictures taken in the 
department for presentations to audiences throughout the city. 

"The people know nothing of the valuable and interesting relics of old Vancouver the city has 
stored there," Mayor Telford went on and suggested they would make a new attraction for tourists 
to view; and those who could not see them at the hall could see them on the screen. 

Mayor Telford visualized Major Matthews with a set of interesting colorful and instructive films 
being in considerable demand as a lecturer. The lectures might even be made self supporting, he 

To Major Matthews, who only last week found the door to his loved valuable relics locked against 
him, the enthusiasm of the mayor came like a tonic. "Give the archives recognition, give us 


consideration and some lielp," lie lias often said, "and we can provide a department tliat will be of 
inestimable value to the city now and forever." 

Apparently Mayor Telford is to give him his chance. 

Finis Coronot Opus. (The end crowns the work.) 

My congratulations, Major, 

on having turned the trick; 
On having stuck to your ideas, 

and having made them stick. 
You've had a tough old row to hoe, 

and many a rude rebuff. 
But tho' they hammered you like Hell, 

You never cried "Enough!" 
And now, at last, you have them tamed, 

and eating from your hand. 
You've gained the points you battled for; 

or so I understand. 
You've always said just what you thought, 

not dealt in "ifs" and "buts." 
It's good to see you out on top, 

for: Man, I like your Guts! 

T.C. 27/4/1947. 

Vancouver Daily Province, Saturday, 14 June 1947. 

Metropolitan Archives 

The decision of the North Vancouver City Council to prepare a history of the North Shore for 
inclusion in the records of Major J. S. Matthews, city archivist, illustrates the growing need for a 
metropolitan archives to serve all sections of Greater Vancouver. 

When Major Matthews began to record the history of the Lions Gate bridge he discovered he 
could not suddenly break off the record at the point the span crossed the boundary into West 

He found too that the histories of Vancouver, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver and 
Richmond, and the men and women who pioneered them, are so closely intermingled they are 
impossible to separate. 

Because the story of our city and its environs are precious to him. Major Matthews has voluntarily 
assumed the task of filing the historical records of even such far-flung spots as Gibson's and 
Grantham's Landings. He does it because, as he points out, there is no one else to do it. 

It is high time, however, that the major's efforts were supplemented with money and official 
recognition. Representatives of lower mainland cities and municipalities could work out a plan for 
establishment of metropolitan archives, finances jointly and containing the records of all the 
communities involved. 

Future generations would appreciate such foresight. 


[Letter from J.S. Matthews to F.A. Hardy.] 

1158 Arbutus St., 
Kitsilano Beach, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

27'^ Feb. 1948. 

Dear Mr. Hardy: 

A parcel went yesterday by Canadian Pacific Express, charges paid. It contains "EARLY 
VANCOUVER," Vols. 1 to 6 incl. A seventh is being compiled. 

The six books are an attempt, by ceaseless endeavor daily for twenty years, to preserve 
the chronicle of one of the wonders of our age; the creation of Vancouver. No sums, however 
great, could replace the contents; those who have spoken, in their own words, are dead — save a 
solitary one or two. 

We have lived fifty years in Vancouver. The conversations recorded are with friends and 
associates, men and women, who tell, each in their own peculiar manner, of their own 
experiences in and about Vancouver, both before and after it became a city; nothing has been 
borrowed or copied. The set sent you is the only one outside my home. 

Mrs. Matthews is poorly. Tomorrow she will join me in a formal note asking your 
acceptance on behalf of the people of Canada. No presentation inscription has been written as a 
frontispiece. Mr. Howard Green, M.P., and Senator S.S. McKeen — the latter a Governor of our 
City Archives, represent Vancouver in Parliament, might be induced by you to hand them to you 
formally, but our preference is not to bother them, but, rather, leave it to your kind office. We do 
think, though, that they should know what has been done. 

It has been a long long task. My hope is that the self-imposed duty has been true and just 
to all. Their value, if any, posterity will determine. I am grateful — and ofttimes wonder why — to the 
Almighty for having chosen me to be the medium through which the pioneers of Vancouver 
should speak to posterity, while posterity listens to the pioneers, themselves, tell the tale. 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews. 

F.A. Hardy, Esq., 


Library of Parliament, 



[Letter from Emily E. Matthews to F.A. Hardy.] 

1158 Arbutus St., 
Kitsilano Beach, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

28'^ February 1948. 

Dear Mr. Hardy: 

We thank you for your kind acceptance of our offer to present to the people of Canada, 
as represented by you in the Library of Parliament, one set of six books entitled "EARLY 
VANCOUVER," volumes one to six inclusive. 

The books are already gone to you by express. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

Emily E. Matthews. 

F.A. Hardy, Esq., 


Library of Parliament, 



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Item # EarlyVan_v7_009 


[photo annotation:] 


The Inauguration of Civic Government, Vancouver, Canada, 1886 

His Worsliip Malcolm Alexander MacLean, first Mayor of Vancouver, delivering his inaugural address at 
the first meeting of the first City Council, assembled, 1 0* May 1 886, in the largest room of a small 
primitive building known as the "COURT HOUSE," Granville, and used by the sole constable on Burrard 
Inlet as his family cottage. 

Standing: - left to right. Three unknown spectators, symbolic of pioneers. John Leask, later City Auditor. 
Joseph Mannion, pioneer, 1865, colloquially "The Mayorof Granville." J. B. Henderson, one of the first 
three school trustees. John H. Carlisle, chief, volunteer fire brigade. John Boultbee, first magistrate. HIS 
WORSHIP THE FIRST MAYOR, M.A. MacLean, Esq., W.H. Gallagher, electoral campaign manager, later 
Alderman, and last survivor. Dr. W.J. McGuigan, coroner, and Mayor, 1904. C. Gardner Johnson, poll 
clerk, later Major and Commodore. John W. Stewart, the "Night-watchman of Granville," first Chief 
Constable. Constable Jonathan Miller, pioneer 1862, Returning Officer, later Postmaster. Dr. Duncan 
Bell-Irving, M.D., spectator. Seated behind City Clerk: - J.J. Blake, who draughted City charter; first City 

Seated: - left to right. Aldermen J.R. Northcott, Joseph Griffith, Joseph Humphries, Thomas Dunn, 
Lauchlan A. Hamilton, Geo. F. Baldwin, first City Treasurer. Thos F. McGuigan, first City Clerk. Aldermen 
E.P. Hamilton, Chas. A. Coldwell, Harry Hemlow, Robert Balfour, Peter Cordiner. 

By John Innes, celebrated Canadian historical artist, for Major J. S. Matthews, later City Archivist, who 
directed detail and chose title. Cost $1 ,000. Commenced 1 932, completed 1 936. Copyright owned by 
Estate, late John Innes; painting owned by Major J.S. Matthews and eight associates. Placed in Council 
Chamber, City Hall, January 1943. Custodians: - Trustees, City Archives. 

Major J.S. Matthews beside his painting. Council Chamber, City Hall, February 1943. 


f^rlVc^sC ^e!s. 

Curve a f beach 
ViTifTnapl* bosh. 

ia-mppi>$t (,■•-,, 

Ha-nd ta.ll. I tda.r iha kei 

Bictif's StllooTt, 

GmTiviUfi Tfcitel, 

Vio-no hfmlttcl< 


BoySTotKiTig (jOTse.^ "A^ 
\TVt,vCrov^Bi.t5. .0 ^ 

ImiIkv house - 

Tttci^Te tree 

SoX prol:teiioiv. 
Veiranc?a/i boil's 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_010 


[photo annotation:] 

Ridley's photo of Gastown, date unknown. "My parents told me it was thus when I was born," i.e., 1875. 
H.E. Ridley, 1933. 

Portuguese Joe's 

Curve of beach. 

Vine maple bush 

Trail to west 


May be Tom Fisher's here 

Handrail. Pile of cedar shakes 

Fence on edge, bank, water 

"Hole in the Wall" Saloon 



Sullivan's store 

Blair's Saloon 

Shed to hotel 

Granville Hotel 

Young hemlock 

Telegraph office 

Boy's rocking horse 

Prov. Govt. BIdg. 

Believed to be Miller house. 

Steps to hotel 

Maple tree 

Cudlip's verandah 

Box protection 

Verandah posts 

Entrance, Deighton 

Identification incomplete. 

J.S. Matthews, 1933 

C.V. Dist. N. 14. P. 1 1 . A photo commonly known as "Ridley's Gastown" 


[Letter from J.S. Matthews to F.A. Hardy.] 

1158 Arbutus St., 
Kitsilano Beach, 
Vancouver, B.C. 
29'*" March, 1948. 



Dear Mr. Hardy: 

It was a dark wintry night. One side of the 'street' — the only one — was the beach. A coal 
oil lamp on a post at the end of the log float where the mail boat tied up — (a boat rowed by 'Hans' 
with one arm, the other was a hook) — was the only harbour light on Burrard Inlet (Vancouver 
Harbor). A gun shot away was the tall dark line, serrated against the gloom of the sky, of the 
forest. Men with lanterns bobbing were disappearing into an alley beside the saloon, a dark 
unlighted passage at the end of which, through an open door, men were gathering in a smoke- 
stained room, unadorned, carpetless, with a great big stove and a pile of cordwood, waiting for 
the meeting to begin. Alexander, the mill manager, took the chair. It was decided to appoint a 
committee to see about creating the village of Granville into the 'City of Vancouver.' 

Students of history can find out all about the legal process in the various chronicles; the 
proceedings of the Legislature of British Columbia; the files of the daily newspapers; the various 
books in the Provincial Libraries; Dominion Libraries and Public Archives. 

But, when they ask who were the men who carried those bobbing lanterns, who warmed 
themselves about that wood stove with its black stove-pipe through the roof, there is naught to 
enlighten. One hundred and twenty-five men signed the petition circulated 'on the beach.' Today 
one alone survives, Henry Blair, out-patient at the General Hospital, and almost helpless. 

I will not elaborate more. It's a long story, intricate, mysterious, wonderful. All I did — while 
there was yet time some years ago — was try, as best I could fifty years after the event, to 
preserve something of the shadows cast by the lanterns each carried; who disappeared down the 
alley to warm themselves by the stove before seating themselves on the rough benches facing 
the chairman. Mrs. Matthews joins in asking you to accept the only copy of 'INCORPORATION 
OF VANCOUVER, 1886' not in our home. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews. 

F.A. Hardy, Esq., 
Parliamentary Librarian, 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_01 1 


[Letter from R. Rowe Holland.] 

City Hall 

10* April 1948 



A report 


A comprehensive report on the City Archives for 1947 would require too many pages; 
brevity is preferable. 

1 . Mention of the City Archives, Vancouver, can now be found in the leading libraries throughout 
the British Commonwealth. 

A Canadian Metropolis, emulating our example, started their City Archives last year. 

A librarian, renowned in Canada, recently wrote: "I cannot find words to express my 
appreciation. I doubt if the history of any city in Canada has been so well covered." 
Numerous high compliments from the eminent and responsible have been received. 

2. Major Matthews notifies us that, after 13* June next on which date he completes fifteen years 
without a day's vacation, that he no longer intends to attempt the impossible of working all 
day without lunch hour at the Archives; four or five hours each evening at home; all week 
ends and public holidays, as he is finding an eighty hour week, year after year, a little 
exhausting. All Vancouver dailies published, a year ago, news items that, henceforth, he was 
to receive $300 a month salary, and he was widely congratulated. Actually, during a portion 
of last year he received no salary at all, as after all accounts were paid there was nothing left. 
He tells us that, last year, the City Archives cost him $600 from his own pocket, and does not 
desire reimbursement. We have no debts — save those of gratitude for stimulating 
encouragement from many. 

3. In respect to an understudy. Qualified men are so rare that we have not found one. The 
pressing need at the moment is a clerk-stenographer and some equipment. Our equipment 
still consists of some cardboard boxes and discarded furniture. In respect to aldermanic 
representation on the trust. What is more desirable is more frequent visits from Council 

4. We, the Trustees, are honorary and voluntary. The evidence that the citizens want an 
archives is abundant, and equally evident they don't want it for nothing. To expect one 
archivist and one assistant to meet the flood of demand arising in a metropolis of almost half 
a million people is hopeless. To relieve the burden we tried curtailment, which promptly 
provoked unjust complaint. If the City Archivist does, actually, restrict himself to the hours 
most of us keep, there will be more curtailment still. And, if he becomes ill, or was hurt in an 
accident, confusion would follow. 

5. Our request is that the grant for 1 948 be ten thousand, ($1 0,000), no more and no less; a 
sum no greater than that of more than one City Hall official's salary, and, in addition, may we 
have your assurance that immediately we advise you we have engaged an understudy that 
an extra $3000 will be available for his salary. 

In conclusion may we remind you that the Council of 1933 did remarkably fine work in 
instituting the City Archives, something of which all Vancouver and all Canada has reason to be 
proud. Generations come and generations go, but the soul of Vancouver goes on forever, and the 
Archives is where the soul is kept. 

Respectfully submitted, 

R. Rowe Holland 



The Chairman and Members, 
Finance Committee, 
City Council 

[Letter from J.S. Matthews to F.A. Hardy.] 

1158 Arbutus St., 
Kitsilano Beach, 
Vancouver, B.C. 
29"" March, 1948. 


"Council Minutes" 

May 10* 1886 to 

July 4* 1887. 

Dear Mr. Hardy: 

I asked the City Clerk — in 1933 — if I might see the first Council minute book; he smiled. 
Presently he came back, would I mind calling again this afternoon — the clerk in charge was 
absent. So I called. They apologised, it had been mislaid, would I call again. I did so next week. 
They had not been able to find it. Three months later I enquired "Did you ever find those first 
minutes?" "No," they had not. Then I told them what I had known all along, and, gracious, didn't 
they "fly." It was back, and I had it in "no time." Someone had loaned it to a newspaper reporter; 
the newspaper reporter had died, and it was lying in a heap of 'rubbish' papers at his former 
home, most of which, I imagine, ended in the furnace. The City Clerk's office had loaned it — 
months and months, perhaps years — and forgotten all about minute book or the borrower. 

I determined that, should that ever happen again, we should have, at least, a copy. So I 
had it typed, and bound, first making an index which the original book has not. We copied it 
precisely as written. For instance $2700 means $27.00. 

Unfortunately, the then City Clerk was not especially considerate to me, and when it was 
finished did not receive a presentation copy from me. The copy which Mrs. Matthews and I ask 
you to accept is the only copy not in our home. 

It shows how a city on paper, the actual site then being covered with towering forest, a 
city without a Council, without a voters list, without an assessment roll and without five cents in 
the bank (without bank to bank in); with no other meeting-place save the constable's dining room, 
rose up like magic and grew into the third greatest city in Canada and a world port into which, last 
year, 27,000 vessels great and small, coastwise and deep sea, entered at H.M. Customs, ten 
miles wide by five deep; the happy home of a benevolent and enlightened citizenry — one of the 
great achievements of men of peace. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews. 

F.A. Hardy, Esq., 
Parliamentary Librarian, 
Ottawa, Ont. 


The Vancouver Sun magazine supplement, 1 May 1948. 

aldermen's umbrellas saved city archives. 

By Albert Foote. 

Vancouver is far too youthful to have any very old buildings, but one of its oldest, the old 
City hall, still stands. Sadly bedraggled by the march of time, she is resigned in her old age to the 
sneers and taunts of horrified pseudo art lovers who shudder at her ugly architectural lines. 

Even so, the building on Main Street is surely a beloved link to the glorious past in the 
hearts of old-timers. 

Just who it was that drew the plans for the ancient pile of red brick I do not know. I 
suspect that the architect, if still living, would prefer to remain anonymous. He had dire 
possibilities in mind, evidently, when he worked out his ideas, for he flanked both front corners 
with bastions. 

Not satisfied with the bastion effect, he crowned the whole affair with the touch of a 
master when he added a two-decker wooden tower on the roof. This tower was removed some 
years ago and has not been missed. Just what useful purpose it served in earlier days is 
unknown, but for a time, at least, it served Vancouver well, for it helped to keep alive the feeble 
flame of public interest in what today has developed into our city archives. 

Vancouver, usually generous in her impulses and aware of the value of her splendid 
short history, has been woefully amiss in her appreciation of the untiring, loving devotion lavished 
upon the preservation of documents and data of her early-day life by our city archivist. Major J.S. 
Matthews. Lately she has made some amends for this neglect, but not nearly enough. 

The history of the birth and growth of the city archives is closely associated with that 
tower, formerly perched on top of the old City Hall. 

Major Matthews, for many years a collector of Vancouver historical data, by pure chance 
happened to meet E.S. Robinson, our city librarian, on the steps of the library and asked him if 
there wasn't some place in the building where his archives could find a resting place; his 
collection had outgrown the space available at home. 

Mr. Robinson was very sympathetic towards this project, and the archives were removed 
into the library basement, but soon this place became too cramped. It was then the much-worried 
major was offered the sumptuous quarters in the wooden tower atop the City Hall. 

Great festoons of cobwebs hanging everywhere gave the tower a truly archival 
appearance. The effect was further heightened by the bare laths exposed in their pristine nudity 
by unsightly patches where the plaster had fallen away. Major Matthews was ashamed of the 
bedraggled place and never asked anyone except collectors and experts to view his beloved 
treasures so unsuitably housed. 

For two winters the archives reposed in the crazy tower on the City Hall, two such terribly 
wet winters as we have just come through this year. The roof leaked in many places. Rain could 
do little damage to the furniture, an old desk, a cardboard filing box and two bar-room chairs, but 
rain and damp weather worked terrible havoc on the archives, and the major did not propose to 
see his valued documents turned into soggy pulp by the copiously weeping winter skies. 
Something had to be done at once and the major did it. 

Men were not considered sissies who carried umbrellas in those days, and most men 
carried them. Just below the tower was the council chamber and just outside the entrance to this 
impressive place there was a rack for the parking of aldermanic bumbershoots. The sight of this 
rack on morning, when the usual rain had turned into a deluge, gave Major Matthews his big idea. 
It dawned on the archivist that these umbrellas could be put to a far better use in protecting the 


archives than shedding rain off the heads of aldermen. He further reasoned that umbrellas were 
cheap and most aldermen could afford to buy a new one. 

Hardly was the idea born that it was translated into action, and miraculously the 
umbrellas disappeared from the rack. The archives were saved. The major slept peacefully at 
night as the terrific gust of rain beat down on his roof and lulled him to deeper slumber, for he 
realized his archives were roosting under the aldermanic umbrellas. He slept on untroubled by 
qualms of conscience over the matter. After all, borrowing a few umbrellas in the interests of so 
vital a cause was justified by the ends achieved. 

The umbrellas finally wore out after long and faithful service, but the thrifty archivist 
skinned the wornout covers off them and saved the sticks. 

These umbrella sticks he tied into a bundle, stood them in a corner and promptly forgot 
the whole affair. The fame of the major and his archives was rapidly growing, and kindly folks 
began to send in contributions to the collection. All these added exhibits took up space, and 
space was at a high premium in the skimpy quarters allotted to the archives. No doubt a few 
things not really grading as archives got mixed up in the confusion of the over-crowded tower. So 
it must have been with the umbrella sticks. 

Came the time when the entire City Council was entertained by Major Matthews with a 
formal inspection of the whole collection of Vancouver's prized relics. As the city fathers milled 
about the crowded tower, peering at the homely artifacts and curious documents of pioneer days, 
one of them happened to notice the bundle of umbrella sticks standing half hidden in a dark 
corner. This man became curious over the queer exhibit and asked the major if these relics had 
come around the Horn in the old SS Beaver. The embarrassed archivist tried his best to distract 
his guest from the umbrella exhibit, but suddenly one of the aldermen grabbed a stick and held it 
high in the air, shouting: 

"This umbrella handle belongs to me. Last time I saw it was about two years ago when I 
left it in the rack outside during a council meeting. My initials are carved on it — there can be no 
mistake. Just explain to me how it ever got in here among these relics?" 

The major was not stuck for an answer, for he calmly replied, "Those umbrellas served a 
far better purpose than shedding rain off an alderman." The major had won the argument on 
points and that ended the matter. 

It was during one of those rainy days when the umbrellas were in use protecting the 
treasures, rain pouring through the roof by the bucketful, that a distinguished visitor called to 
inspect the collection. 

This man was no less a personage than Sir Henry Myers, a director of the British 
Museum and an outstanding world authority on matters of this nature. As he stood there in the 
crowded tower atop the old city hall, rain running down his neck, his feet awash and his clothing 
bedraggled, he glanced about the place with a look of deep appreciation, and, turning to Major 
Matthews, merely said: "What astounds me about this collection is the appalling difficulties under 
which you labor." 

The great man, no doubt thought the umbrellas were a part of the municipal plan for 
preserving the city documents. The major said nothing. 

(Note in pencil — "Pure rubbish — quite untrue." JSM) 


In the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Remarks by the Honourable Chief 
Justice Wendell B. Farris. 

I am most happy to see that Major Matthews is here this morning seated in Chambers. 

I thinl< this is an appropriate moment to point out that the City of Vancouver, the Province of 
British Columbia, and the Dominion of Canada owe a great debt to Major Matthews and his wife 
for their splendid work for the public, and particularly for the Citizens of Vancouver. They have 
worked tirelessly and ceaselessly, and in spite of the tremendous difficulties and odds they have 
had to surmount. Major and Mrs. Matthews have succeeded in establishing an archives which 
ranks with any in Canada. If it had not been for their very wonderful action in preserving the 
records of Vancouver's early days, for their gifts of many valuable documents, and even more 
valuable services, this problem of trusteeship would never have arisen. Through their unselfish 
donations of their time and their own property, the people of British Columbia and the citizens of 
Vancouver have been placed in a singularly fortunate position. From their untiring efforts has 
come a magnificent records of the past. 

18 May 1948. 

Chief Justice Farris afterwards invited me to his private office, where I said to him that: 

To hear those words from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is a great comfort and 
consolation. I shall hasten home and tell Mrs. Matthews what you have said. 

25May 1948. JSM. 

(Memo in pencil.) 

So the Judge made the order — 

Then, their very first act was the change the lock, and Miss King said they told her that if I 
appeared at the door she was to deny me admittance. I understand that when she objected they 
sent her home. 


It was an order which made the agreement between Major and Mrs. Matthews and the City of 
Vancouver, and no one else, applicable to the Archives of Vancouver Society. JSM. 

No sooner had the new society acquired authority that one afternoon, during Major Matthews' absence, 
two of the pseudo "governors" entered the City Archives, City Hall, and, like two hoodlums, "ran amuck." 
Their first act was to get the City Comptroller to change the lock on the door so that Major Matthews could 
not enter. Then they told his assistant that if he attempted to enter she was to deny him entrance. Then 
they sent his assistant home and told her not to come back until she was sent for. Then they wrote the 
infamous letter known as the "CEASE ALL WORK IN THE CITY ARCHIVES," instructing both not to pay 
out any money, order any material, nor remove any article from the premises. The madcaps brought 
down on their heads the ridicule of even the City Hall janitors. 

Then, a month later, one of them wrote an abject letter of apology. 

8 June 1948. 


[Letter from J.S. Matthews to Chief Justice Farris.] 

1158 Arbutus St., 
Kitsilano Beach, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

13'^ June, 1948. 

Dear Mr. Farris: 

As the days recede, your kind words, spol<en in Chambers, 18*^ May, of the endeavors of 
Mrs. Matthews and myself, ourthanl<fulness increases more and more that such a commendation 
should have come from the lips of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. For 
20 years trial upon trial has beset us, but to learn from you that all is well is a solace and a 
consolation, and a stimulation to our resolve. 

The City Archives owes its existence not to money, which has been scant, but 
encouragement from such as the late John Hosie, Provincial Archivist, who — when I wavered — 
ejaculated angrily, 'Keep on, man, keep on; don't quit now.' To Alderman W.J. Twiss who, 1 933, 
throwing wide the door to a small empty room in the Temporary City Hall, asked "Will that suit 
you?" To General Sir Arthur Currie, who wondered as he looked and then said "Gentlemen ... 
worth ... weight in gold." To the late Lord Tweedsmuir, greatest historian of his age in the Empire, 
upon his last visit, as his eyes swept the walls of the City Archives, and then passed that amiable 
remark "This is admirable work; just what I have been urging." Lastly our own Chief Justice tells 
us it is good. 

Why the Almighty chose me from among the host for the especial task of attempting to 
preserve for our posterity the chronicle of this magic city, and of our race in which it is part, can 
never be known; but one thing is known — it is that had no Mrs. Matthews esteemed it of greater 
consequence than our pleasure, and without her silent share and sacrifice, it would not have 

While life lasts we shall ever take comfort in your generous encouragement. 

With our deep respects 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews. 

The Honourable 
Chief Justice Farris, 




[Letter from Emily E. Matthews to W.E. Ireland.] 

1158 Arbutus street 
Kitsilano Beach 

26* July 1948. 

Dear Mr. Ireland: 

When, in 1 933, the City Archives was instituted, it was weak and frail. Gradually it 
tottered to its feet, and, uncertain, stood looking about, wondering as to the next best step. 

The Provincial Archives — more than all others — came with a supporting hand; to 
encourage and to steady until, year by year, it gathered strength to stand alone. Such 
beneficence has not been forgotten by those of Vancouver who know; and will not be, if we have 
our way. 

It was the late John Hosie, your predecessor, who, whenever we wavered, ejaculated, 
almost angrily, 'KEEP ON, KEEP ON.' Difficulty beset us; had he said 'Give up,' the City Archives 
might not have been. Then, one day, a huge packing case came; the express man said it was for 
us from the Provincial Archives. Nothing was expected; we could not believe it. The contents of 
that big box were our first stationery supplies. 

Your acceptance of "EARLY VANCOUVER," volumes one, three, four, five and six — you 
already have No. two — will gratify my husband and me; will serve to refresh pleasant 
recollections; acknowledge the debt of the people of Vancouver to the Provincial Archives and, in 
a measure, be a memorial to a great and good archivist, John Hosie, without whose helping hand 
much might not have been. 

Most sincerely, 

Emily E. Matthews. 

W.E. Ireland, Esq., 
Provincial Archives, 
Victoria, B.C. 

[Letter from William E. Ireland to Emily E. Matthews.] 

Provincial Archives 
Victoria, B.C. 

July 27*, 1948. 

Mrs. E.E. Matthews, 
1158 Arbutus St., 
Kitsilano Beach, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Dear Mrs. Matthews: 

Your letter of July 26* has come to hand, and you may rest assured that your kindness in 
presenting to us the five volumes of Early Vancouver is greatly appreciated by this institution. 

I full well appreciate the difficulties under which you and Major Matthews laboured in 
those early days, and I am equally grateful that the late John Hosie had the foresight to urge you 
on with the task in hand, and that he was able to give you some material assistance from time to 
time. I am pleased, too, that it was possible for both myself and Dr. Lamb to continue this 
assistance during the period of lean times, and I certainly think your desire to present the 
volumes to us, more or less in tribute to John Hosie, is an extremely courteous gesture, and one 
that is appreciated by his many friends here and by the institution he so long served. 


On behalf of the Provincial Archives please accept this expression of my sincere thanks 
for your courtesy in this connection. 

Yours sincerely, 

William E. Ireland 

Provincial Librarian and Archivist. 


Note: "No. 2 had been in Provincial Archives for 10 or more years." (See [previous] page.) 

[Letter from J.S. Matthews to W.A. McAdam.] 

5'^ Nov. 1948. 

Dear Mr. McAdam: 

This is a difficult letter to write — I do much of my own typing, especially letters to you. It is 
my first letter on the typewriter since my sorrowful absence. My dear wife was laid in her final 
resting-place yesterday afternoon. 

I lay me down and wept awhile. Now I rise up and fight again. She left me the most 
beautiful love letter I ever read. It was handed me after her death. 

Most sincerely, 

[J.S. Matthews] 


W.A. McAdam Esq., C.M.G., 


British Columbia House 


Excerpt from letter written by Major Matthews. 

Nov. 6'^ 1948. 

The service in Christ Church Cathedral, where we were married in 1920 on Nov. 16* 
1920 — 28 years ago — was conducted by the Very Rev. Dean Swanson, assisted by Rev. S. 
Higgs. The cathedral holds 1200 and was about one third full. The Mayor of Vancouver attended. 
There was a surpliced choir, and the organist played three hymns. The casket was covered with 
the Union Jack, on which her medals rested on a black cushion. The pallbearers were all 
freemasons, old friends, elderly men. The party of mourners, led by me, included three sisters, 
three nieces, one nephew. It was as beautiful a ceremony as I have ever witnessed, conducted 
with solemn military precision but still with gentle grace and dignity. The Dean departed from the 
rule of the Church of England in that he stood upon the chancel steps and delivered a eulogy on 
her service to mankind in peace and in war. Funerals in the Cathedral are extremely rare. The 
last was in September when the Mayor of Vancouver died. The one before that in August, 1 947, 
when a Senator of Canada died. 

The newspaper reports of her death were remarkable in that the leading newspaper of 
western Canada announced it with a two column heading. In three days there have been over 
100 letters of condolence received. I have omitted to say that the front of the cathedral chancel 
was banked with a mass of wreaths. No man could have asked for a more complete tribute to a 
wife than the citizens of Vancouver has given to me. 

I forgot to say that on my return that morning from the hospital (Tuesday, Nov. 2"''), 
Mabel, (Mrs. Willis) handed me a letter which Emily had written to me on October 15*^, 18 days 


before she passed away. It is the most beautiful letter — love letter — that man ever received from 
woman. It addresses me as "My dearest" ... "for all your kindness" ... "do not fret for me" ... 
"goodbye darling." May God bless her, for no man ever had a better companion. 

Vancouver Sun, Monday, 5 December 1949. 

early births in vancouver now in record. 

By Dillon O'Leary 

OTTAWA, Dec. 5. A record of Vancouver and vicinity's early births and growth is 

tabulated in one of the newest additions to the library of parliament this week. 

It is the result of the careful, arduous work of Major J. S. Matthews, Vancouver archivist, 
who forwarded it to the parliamentary library through the offices of Howard Green Conservative 
MP for Vancouver-Quadra. 

Mr. Green presented it to parliamentary librarian F.A. Hardy as a valuable addition to the 
history and records of the growth of Canadian communities on the Pacific coast. 

In an accompanying letter. Major Matthews explained that he had found 20 years ago 
that there were no records of white children born in Vancouver and environs in the year of the 
city's incorporation, 1886, or back as far as 1868, when the first white child was born in the area. 

In 1872 a birth registration act was passed in British Columbia, but was not observed by 
the rugged and independent settlers of that day. After 20 years' search, wrote Major Matthews, 
he had compiled a fairly complete list. 

In his letter to Mr. Green, he said that "had it not been for the inspiration, persistence and 
endurance of my dear late wife, and her sacrifices, it (this book) might never have been." 

The Vancouver Daily Province, Monday, 5 December 1949. 

posterity given record of city's first births 

By Don Mason 

OTTAWA — One of the newest books in the Parliamentary Library here is entitled Early 
Births, Vancouver and Vicinity, presented by Major J.S. Matthews, Vancouver archivist. 

It arrived this week, sent by Howard Green (P. C. -Vancouver-Quadra) to be passed on to 
Parliamentary Librarian F.A. Hardy. 

No Record. 

In an accompanying letter. Major Matthews explains that 20 years or so ago, he found 
that there was no record of the white children born in and about Vancouver. 

Twenty children were born in Vancouver the first year of that city's existence — 1886 — but 
not one was registered. Children had been born back as far as 1868, and not one registered. 

A birth registration act was passed in B.C. in 1872, but no one used it. 

Tedious Task. 

Those were the days when the Family Bible was a good enough place for the names of 
new arrivals. 

Major Matthews says it was a long, tedious task to get the names of babies born near 
Vancouver before Vancouver was — but, after 20 years of searching, he finally got a fairly 
complete list. 


He says, in his letter to Mr. Green, "Had it not been for tine inspiration, persistence and 
endurance of my dear late wife, and her sacrifices, it (this book) might never have been." 

News-Herald, Vancouver, Thursday, 7 June 1951. 

aging archivist seeks assistant 

By Lionel Salt. 

Major J. S. Matthews says he is an old soldier beginning to fade away. 

And the man who started the city archives from scratch in 1933 is asking for help. 

He appeared Wednesday before the city's finance committee seeking an increased grant 
to the archives. 

Will Not Retire. 

"There will be no faltering or diminishing on my part," the 73-year-old Welsh-born former 
officer commanding of the DCOR's told aldermen. 

"But I cannot go on forever. And it would take 10 years to train someone to take my 

The city now gives a $6000 annual grant. Major Matthews and the archives board of 
trustees want this doubled to enable them to hire an assistant and a stenographer. 

"I'll just take eight minutes of your time," the major told the committee briskly as he began 
to trace the beginnings of the archives. 

Started in 1933. 

He said the archives were set up June 13, 1933, during the tenure of late Mayor Louis D. 
Taylor. "At that time, I was given a stipend of $25 a month. Since 1 946, the city's grant has not 

"It is impossible to continue on a 1946 budget. I can't go on forever. I must train an 
assistant. I haven't had a holiday since before the City Hall was built. For the past eight months I 
have been alone." 

Corporation counsel Arthur Lord explained that in 1933 property of the archives was 
turned over to the control of a board of trustees. In 1 948, the Archives of Vancouver was 
corporated under the Societies Act. 

Brief suggested. 

"We have a special committee consisting of Aldermen Anna Sprott and Archie Proctor to 
deal with archives matters," acting chairman R.K. Gervin told Major Matthews. 

"I suggest that the archives society present a brief to that committee, and it, in turn, will 
make a report to us. Then we can deal with it." 

Supporting the request for an increased grant were trustees William Twiss, former city 
alderman, and W.J. Barrett-Lennard. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_013 


[photo annotation:] 

Linn Cottage at Lynn Creek, circa 1 896. At a time wlien tliere were few places near Vancouver wliere a 
picnic could be held. John Linn, Royal Engineer, 1859 was granted, for military services. District Lot 204, 
east bank, Lynn Creek, 1 50 acres, 1 o'^ Feb. 1 871 . Mr. Linn built this cottage, 1 869. It stood about fifty feet 
from the stream, near its mouth, & faced the Second Narrows. He died 18 April 1876. Mrs. Linn, widow, 
sold it for $21 ,000. She died 1 0* June 1 907. In its early days it was a pretty well kept home for 
themselves and six children. For further description see Out. P. 624, N. 231, S.G.N. 1038 and other 
photos. Out. P. 214, 224 N. 230, 231. Observe man with oars. Also Chinese lanterns; several tents not 
visible.. City Archives J.S.M. 

The Vancouver Daily Province, B.C. Magazine, Saturday 27 October 1951. 


By Ron Thornbur. 

A black derby or panama, a cane or black umbrella, depending upon the turn of weather 
or season, a worn brown suitcase and an air of dogged purpose, all borne along by a sturdy 
figure which every weekday morning marches with a military step across the intersection of 
Cambie and Twelfth. These are the identifying features of one of the most colorful and 
controversial personalities at City Hall and in Vancouver's public life. 

Major James Skitt Matthews, V.D., city archivist and sometimes holy terror, is a man who 
puts a tremendous single energy into living and a man about whom few persons can hold a 
neutral opinion after having met him. Almost single-handedly, he has gathered about him all that 
is known and authenticated as to the history of Vancouver. He has devoted 30 years of his life to 
tracking and pinning down what remains to be known. A brilliant mind, he is a living 
encyclopaedia of historical fact and legend — and no man to cross. 

"The major," as he is best known to thousands, is old only in years. He is 73, but is never 
referred to as "old" Major Matthews. Fiery-tempered on occasion (and there have been many), he 
is a gentleman of a school and period almost forgotten today. He believes still that the greatest 
courtesy and tribute that can be paid to a woman is to bow and kiss her hand, and is proud to put 
his belief to frequent practice. A man with a terrific imagination, he acts out happily vignettes of 
city history. He has been known to snatch an old muzzle-loader from the wall and creep over the 
floor of the archives to bring to life some exciting episode with appropriate shouts, cries and 

A former mayor of Vancouver, after a brisk run-in with the peppery archivist, once said 
the major could "charm a halo away from a saint or out-argue the devil himself." In fact, the 
major's standing with top civic officials is not too happy a one. He once had to wait three months 
for approval to purchase one new filing cabinet, and has been waiting four months now for report 
from Aid. Anna Sprott and Aid. Archie Proctor that may well decide his future at City Hall. 

Sifting Legends. 

In the meantime, he works on in his beloved archives on the ninth floor. To the major, 
history does not exist as history until facts are sifted from legend and methodically set down in 
book or filing cabinet. Because of his indefatigable pursuit of facts, the whole history of this city 
can be reconstructed piece by piece from the day in 1792 when Captain George Vancouver first 
entered Burrard Inlet. 

The archives, crammed and stuffed with filing cabinets, showcases, books, chests, back 
copies of newspapers and a huge bust of Mussolini scowling at the wall, contain as basic 
reference material more than 7500 dockets, each containing scores of clippings, and at least 
8000 priceless photographs and negatives. 


Information available only from the archives' files has gone to every section of the globe, 
and few newspaper or magazine articles relating to Vancouver or her early pioneers have been 
published that have not found their source in the banks of filing cabinets. 

Curiously enough, the first object to find it way into the city archives was the body of a 
long-defunct pigeon. This was in 1 931 when the major was granted use of a garret over the old 
city market at Hastings and Main. He described it then as the "dirtiest room in British Columbia." It 
had not heat, light or water. A hole in the floor, covered by a loose board, looked down on a toilet 
below. The pigeon, many years previous, had found its way into the room, but never found its 
way out. 

The major, at that time, had no official standing or salary. His first filing cabinet was a 
cardboard box. When colder weather came, he put on an extra sweater, another pair of socks, a 
heavy overcoat and kept on working. In 1933, he was appointed city archivist by City Council on 
that day and was granted an honorarium of $25 per month. His embryo archives were moved into 
a tiny room on the tenth floor of the old City Hall — and the major kept on working. 

Today, the archives department operates on an annual budget of $6000 and in quarters 
far removed from and better than the "pigeon room" of 1931 , but both allocation and location are 
still woefully inadequate. Out of his appropriation, the major is required to pay his own salary 
(about $250 per month), operating expenses and, if he can, the salary of an assistant. He has 
been without a full-time assistant for the past year due to lack of sufficient funds. 

Maj. Matthews' military career (he joined the "Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles," Sixth 
Regiment, here in 1903, rising to command by 1913) has left an indelible stamp upon him. It has 
left him with a brusqueness of manner that strangers often mistake as impatience. He is impatient 
only with those who he feels are wasting his time, but to answer one intelligent question he will 
cheerfully spend hours wreaking havoc upon his files. 

Slightly hard of hearing as result of being wounded Oct. 20, 1 91 6, in the assault and 
capture of Regina Trench at Ypres, the major likes people to "speak up." 

History Lives. 

Vancouver's colorful history is to him a deep and personal thing, something quite alive 
and vibrant. He has lived most of what he has given the better part of his life to documenting, and 
to the endless task brings the earnestness and sincerity of a novitiate for the priesthood. His 
enthusiasm is boundless. Hardly a night goes by that the light in his study in his home at 1 1 58 
Arbutus is turned out before 1 or 2 a.m. He spends countless hours poring over the daily 
newspapers and carefully clipping out at least 40 articles per day of current or historical interest. 

Maj. Matthews came to Vancouver in 1898, traveling steerage in the old R.M.S. Alameda 
from Auckland, New Zealand, where he arrived from his birthplace, Montgomeryshire, Wales, in 
1887 with his parents. 

He recalls vividly cutting firewood in a clearing west of Burrard, picking blackberries on 
Davie. As one of the original B.C. employees of the Imperial Oil Company, he remembers well 
selling the first can of gas to the first automobile owner in this province, and putting forward the 
suggestion that led to establishment here of the first service station in North America. 

The blackest event in the major's life was the death of his wife, November 2, 1948. 
Together, starting the task as a hobby long before they conceived the idea of establishing the city 
archives, they gathered about them, and at their own expense, many of the priceless items and 
records that are found here today. Rarely in life were to be found two persons so intensely 
devoted to each other as were the major and his wife, Emily, Royal Red Cross, and one of the 
first five nurses to graduate in Vancouver. 


The Vancouver Daily Province, 9 January 1952. 

'AT last; says major 

ARCHIVES GET $12,000. 

Recommendations contained in an 18-year-old report of an investigation into the 
Vancouver archives were finally implemented Tuesday by City Council. 

Aldermen voted unanimously in finance committee to double the $6000 annual allocation 
for Major J. S. Matthews' beloved archives on the ninth floor of City Hall. 

John Hosie, provincial archivist at that time, recommended in 1934, after carrying out an 
investigation into the archives at the request of the then City Council, that "the archivist receive a 
salary commensurate with the dignity and importance of his office, and to permit the employment 
of a paid stenographer to assist him." 

Tears in his eyes 

Tears sprang into the eyes of 74-year-old Major Matthews, fiery founder and custodian of 
the priceless files, records and photographs in the archives, when he was informed of council's 
action by a Daily Province reporter. 

"At last, at last," he said. Doubling of his departmental appropriation was for him the 
heart-warming end of more than 20 years of constant battling for recognition and for additional 
money and equipment for his archives. 

Started at nothing 

Mrs. Jean Gibbs, the major's gentle, silver-haired assistant, herself a pioneer of 
Vancouver, will now receive a salary of at least $1 80 per month, instead of the $80 a month she 
has been receiving. The major's monthly salary will go up to $300 from below $250. He started 
the archives at nothing per month in 1929. 

He will be able now to hire an additional assistant for stenographic work. 

In committee. Mayor Hume led the fight for adoption of the report and its 
recommendations submitted jointly by Aid. Anna Sprott and Aid. Archie Proctor. 

Major Matthews' former $6000 appropriation was the only departmental allocation that 
had not been raised in the past six years. 

News-Herald, Monday morning, 21 January 1952. 

our past grows in importance. 

Vancouver city does itself a service when it gives a little more money to its civic archives. 

Preservation of history is important; because we're a young city we haven't been much 
interested in the past. We're more concerned with the present, and looking forward to the future. 
That is a good thing too. People who live entirely in the past are dead people. 

However, a city's past is important. Vancouver, though still young, has had a quite 
glamorous history. It should be better known. We should have more relics preserved — and that's 
the job of the city archives. 

Archivist Matthews, working under many handicaps, has done a good job for Vancouver 
because he loves his work. He deserves the new financial recognition the city has given him and 
from it he should be able to do better work. 

As Seattle and San Francisco are aware of their colorful backgrounds, so should be 


Institution of City Archives, Vancouver. 

Letter from Inspector Henry A. Larsen, R.C.M.P., F.R.G.S, (300 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, 6 February 
1952) who commanded the R.C.M.P. schooner St. Roch on her famous voyages through the North West 
Passage, 1940-2, and 1944, to Major J. S. Matthews, V.D., City Archivist, Vancouver: (excerpt) 

My dear Major Matthews: 

I was pleased to see in a newspaper clipping from Vancouver that you, at last, have been 
able to get a little more money with which to run the Archives. 

Years and years from now the City of Vancouver will appreciate your work more and 
more, and be grateful for the legacy you left in the form of historical value, both to Vancouver and 
to Canada in general. 

Editorial page of The Vancouver Sun, 20 March 1952. 

to honor our own history 

Major J. S. Matthews, Vancouver's able archivist, performs a public service when he 
seeks funds to place a statue of Lord Stanley in Stanley Park. 

He is sound in both detail and principle. 

Lord Stanley of Preston was governor-general of Canada from 1888 to 1893, and on 
October 29, 1889 personally opened, in a pouring rain, the park named for him. It is eminently 
fitting that as Stanley Park is personalized, his figure should be among those honored. 

For Stanley Park should be personalized. All Vancouver should be personalized. History 
is not a string of events, but a connected narrative of men. Vancouver's history will be a living 
thing only as we remember vividly the men who had to do with its making. 

Some 30 years ago The Sun sponsored a movement to erect an heroic sized figure of 
Captain George Vancouver in some elevated spot where it would be visible to every citizen and 
to all ships entering the harbor. 

We still think the idea has merit, although there is an excellent statue of the valiant 
Captain at City Hall. 

Cities on this continent have the habit of taking on a deadly sameness. 

And while the topographical features of Vancouver will not be confused readily with those 
of Chicago or Winnipeg, we can still do with those personal touches which are peculiar to our own 

Statues of eminent persons who have contributed to our growth are a form of decoration 
with substantial meaning. 


City ArMvist 

A-tshtsfii /trckivist 
Mhs. J. Gr Gnu 



IHST, b tAja 



It was due to the foresight of our predecessors that Stanley Park, the most beautiful 
park of its kind in Canada, has been preserved for the use of our people of Vancouver, of 
Canada, and mankind throughout the world. How grateful we should be that the proposal, with 
surveyor's plan attached, made on January 12th, 1385, to divide the land, and use the eastern 
half for commercial purposes, was rejected, and how fortunate we are that the first resolution 
passed at the first meeting of the first City Council, lOth May, 1886, was to petition the 
Dominion Government to give It to us as a park, and that our request was granted. 

Sixty-six years ago His Worship David Oppenheimer, Mayor of Vancouver, acting on 
behalf of our citizens, made a written promise to Lord Stanley, Governor General, that the 
place where he stood when he dedicated the park 


would be marked by a memorial. That promise Is now about to be fulfilled. 

Sydney March, sculptor, one of the foremost sculptors 
of the British Commonwealth, is now engaged In creating a 
statue of which Vancouver will be proud. No civic funds are 
being used; all subscriptions are voluntary. It is desirable that 
the largest possible number of our citizens participate. The cost 
will be $4,500, of which $1,750 has been subscribed by ninety 

May we be privileged to include your name among those 
of the subscribers? 

Subscriptions sent to 


care City Archives, City Hall, Vancouver 10, 

will be formally acknowledged. 

Bankers: Imperial Bank, Abbott Street. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_014 


10 January 1953. 


It takes plenty of sleuthing to uncover historic records. 

By Cy Young. 

Each October 21 Major J. S. Matthews, City Archivist, presents his friend and former 
batman, Albert E. Taylor with a pipe. So far he has presented Taylor with no less than thirty-six of 
them — annual tokens of appreciation of the fact that the ex-batman generously bestowed his own 
precious briar upon the Major when the latter lost his pipe in a muddy trench in France on 
October 21, 1916. 

The sentimental pipe-giving ritual is typical of Major Matthews whose preoccupation with 
events of historical significance made it possible for him to amass, despite almost insurmountable 
difficulties, the veritable treasure trove of historical data, photographs, maps, manuscripts, 
records and relics which make up the City Archives. 

Romantic Past 

Thousands of visitors are shown through the Archives on the ninth floor of the City Hall, 
every year. They view a variety of civic relics ranging from wrought-iron ankle chains, worn by 
early Vancouver "chain-gangs" while on outdoor work parties, to such items as a watch that came 
through the "Great Fire" of 1886; and a cannon ball, dug up from P.C. Hardy's garden on West 
Fortieth, which was believed to have been shot from H.M.S. Zealous, the last of the British navy 
wooden flagships. 

Archives' visitors include clerks accountants, school teachers, journalists, and even, 
occasionally, a celebrity like Mrs. William Van Duren of Jefferson, Oregon, better known as 
"Klondike Kate." 

Major Matthews and his full-time assistant, Mrs. Jean Gibbs, former Point Grey School 
teacher, also are called upon to answer queries by the thousands from telephone callers seeking 
to satisfy their curiosity on such points as which hen laid the first egg in Vancouver — or the color 
of eyes, hair and complexion of Vancouver's first mayor, Malcolm MacLean. 

There are more than 7000 dockets in the Archives on subjects pertaining to the City of 
Vancouver and all are welcome to make use of this store-house of information. It's one of the 
most active departments of the City and Major Matthews does his best to dispel the illusion held 
in some quarters that an archivist is an "old fossil." 

Visitors who happen to be in the Archives in mid-afternoon may be invited to share tea 
with "The Major" and Mrs. Gibbs, in the "inner sanctum" at Major Matthews' large desk. Others 
are less fortunate, like the young man who entered the Archives one day and asked to see the 
"murder weapons." He was sent packing promptly, to the Police Station. Said the Major: "The 
Archives department is not Waxworks. We keep records of those who build — not those who 

Old Newspapers 

Major Matthews has collected what he considers to be the finest collection of Old 
Vancouver newspapers in the world, including copies of the first newspaper on Burrard Inlet, the 
Moodyville Tickler. He has built up a picture file of no less than 8000 photographs, all of historic 
significance; and has interviewed hundreds of civic pioneers, recording their reminiscences for 

Once described as a "combined amateur detective, windmill tilter and evangelist," Major 
Matthews spares no effort to add to the Archives' collection. The department is operated on a 
limited budget and often the money for a precious relic, or rare photograph, comes from the 
Major's own pocket. 


Saved From Fire 

Once he actually saved some early military records of B.C. from the very jaws of the 
furnace in the dead of night, an act which he admits, with a chuckle, qualifies him for the title of 
the "greatest burglar out of jail in B.C." 

Major heard that an old soldier and caretaker of a military building had been ordered to 
destroy the documents in the furnace. The Major was barely in time to save the precious records 
which now repose safely in the City Archives. 

Collecting lore for the City Archives is truly a labor of love for the Major, and the City 
Council and others have found on occasion, that he is a very jut-jawed gentleman indeed, when it 
comes to safe-guarding the city's heritage. 

Apathy and a penurious attitude by many former officials made the Major's self-imposed 
task of establishing the City Archives particularly difficult. In some cases he met out-and-out 
opposition. The late Mayor Gerry McGeer, for example, opposed expenditures for the Archives on 
the grounds that the invaluable historic collection was just a "bunch of junk." 

Matthews, born in Wales and schooled in England, first became interested in the 
preservation of the historic records of Vancouver soon after his arrival here in November, 1 898, 
from New Zealand, where he attended university. 

Except for the period during World War One when he saw distinguished service overseas 
and was wounded, Matthews remained in Vancouver where his collecting of relics and old civic 
records became a serious hobby. 

By 1 929 this hobby had grown to a full-time job, working from his home. In 1 931 the 
Public Library granted him the use of the attic of the old City Hall, on Main Street. 

There was no heat, light or water in the attic room which the Major has since described 
as "the dirtiest room in British Columbia." 

In 1933, under the regime of Mayor L.D. Taylor, Matthews received official recognition 
and the title of City Archivist. He was given an honorarium of $25 a month — from which he was 
generously allowed to pay his own expenses — and permitted to move his Archives to a tiny room 
on the tenth floor. 

Growing Importance 

The importance of the department has been gradually recognized by successive Councils 
to the extent that the Archives now have considerably larger quarters on the ninth floor of the City 
Hall and an appropriation of $12,000 annually. Major Matthews now receives a salary of $300 
monthly. Some day, the Major hopes, Vancouver's Archives will boast a bigger staff and more 
adequate quarters where treasured relics and records of the city's past may be properly stored 
and displayed. 


J. S. Matthews, V.D, 

AnifHint Arckk'ist 
Mrs. Jr G, Giwss 





22nd October, 1953. 


22nd OCTOBER 1953 

The City Archives is no longer solely civic; nor even metropolitan; it has become 
the most active archival institution in western Canada, and its character is national. 
Correspondence and visitors come from all British Columbia; the provinces of Canada, 
the British Isles, Australia and the United States, 

It serves five hundred thousand busy people in ti^'o cities and four surrounding 
municipalities. By working overtime and week ends, and doing without holidays, a staff 
of two has managed to cope i\-ith immediate demands. This situation is not reasonable, 
for should illness or misadventure befall either one, disorder would follow, to the incon- 
venience of other activities, official and unofficial, and far afield, and disrupt those who, 
primarily, are relying upon us. Not a creditable situation, 

.Accommodation ivhich was suitable when our city was half its present population 
is now so inadequate that there is no longer space. It has become a piled up m ass in 
orderly confusion. After in.specting the City .Archives recently, the Hon, •■■fc Justice 
Manson commented "Vancouver can do better than this". Others have spoken likewise. 

We are o\envorked. An increase of staff by even one is no remedy for we lack 
space for a servant to ivork, or to put the result of his work. Someday we may get our 
own building, but until we do the City Hall is the best location and eminently satis- 
factory. We need fireproof storage ivhere heavy, bulky, and infrequently used material 
can be kept. The Archives itself could then be made more presentable, and, provided 
the salary was available, a third staff member could be engaged. 

Excellent support and many courtesies have come to u.s fiom the people. There 
have been no disagreements; there has been good progress, and we believe we have the 
confidence of those who depend on us. A small surplus, saved from the civic grant by 
kee[)ing our salaries doivn, gives us freedom to do things. We could not ivish for a 
better assistant than Mrs. Gibbs, My health continues good, hut it is obvious that an 
archivist of my years should have an understudy. 

What the public does not realise is that the City Archives is the jewel ivhich is 

I have the honor to be, sirs. 

Your obedient servant, 

J. S. Matthews, 
c;.v Archives, ^'^y Archivist. 

City Hall, 

Vancouver, C^inada 
aand Ociober. 1953 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_015 


The Vancouver Province, Tuesday, 9 March 1954. 

city archivist battles for adequate facilities 

One of the most devastating broadsides in 20 years of battling for better city archives was 
fired Monday night by Major J. S. Matthews. 

The veteran city archivist scarcely had time to train his guns on City Council before the 
shooting started. 

"Why has the city archives — for the past 20 years — been given the poorest of 
accommodation, starved of staff and funds?" 

"Who is there to look after the histories of three municipalities and Vancouver — 500,000 
people in all? Two people, one of them (Maj. Matthews) 76 years old." 

"Why have we 500 policemen looking after the bad people and only two looking after the 

Fights Recalled 

"Why is half the budget of the provincial archives in Victoria provided by Greater 
Vancouver taxpayers who get nothing for their money?" 

"Why will no one raise funds for a proper archives when the Park Board has promised 

Major Matthews, speaking before the Professional Photographers Association of B.C., 
recalled some of his past fights with council. 

"A year before the Golden Jubilee (1936) I sent 1000 photographs of Vancouver and 167 
stories to B.C.'s agent-general in London." 

Well Preserved 

"These photographs and stories ran in 243 British journals and Vancouver received the 
greatest amount of publicity it has ever had in Britain." 

"City Council turned down the bill for $250 involved in preparing the material and I paid it 

Major Matthews criticized others, too. 

"No city has had its history as well preserved as Vancouver," he said. "We have 10,000 
negatives and each has its story. Five hundred of these pictures, with brief notes, would make the 
finest possible city history. That idea was turned down by the School Board." 

Major Matthews pointed out one pamphlet produced by the archives is now used in 
schools in five Canadian provinces. 

In spite of the contributions of photographers — "the historians of our race" — he noted "no 
photographer has ever been knighted nor commemorated by statute." 

For his work in collecting photographs of early days. Major Matthews was presented with 
an honorary life membership in the association and a framed aerial picture of the city. 

"I've tried to do my duty," he said. "That's all you can say about it." 


Thnndar. March 11. 19M 3 

Archivist To Tel! Story 
Of City To Vancouverites 

City Archivist. Major J. S. ployees, yet the bulk of the 
Matthews, 78, is stepping up [history of BC is centred In 
his lecture engagement sched- 1 Vancouver, About half their 
ule "because it's time I c^jen- staff over there does nothing 
ed my mouth." but look after Victoria," he 

Surrounded by the city's |said. 

183-year-old history, crammed — 

into the ninth floor of City 
Hall, Major Matthews said. 
"I'm not fioing to give up — 
I not while I live, but someday 
Li'll pop off, and who will take 
care of all thisT" 

"All this," consists of thous- 
ands of articles, filing cabi- 
nets, documents, newspaper 
files, old photographs — an al- 
most month-by-month record 
of the "greatest city in the 

Cornerstone of. Major Mat- 
thews' archives is a carefully- 
preserved letter written in 
1792 to England by Captain 
George Vancouver. 

The age-stained parchment 
starts a carefully-documented 
trail to sueb recent an memor- 
able civic milestones as the 
opening of the new Granville; 

Major Matthews wants to ! 
tell people of the value of his 
work, and his ultimate" aim is 
a separate archive building. 

He savs the Parte Board has 
offered "land for a building in , 
Stanley Park or on Little i 
Mountain, but, as yet. City 
Council can't see the point in 
spending the money, 

"Mind you, I am not blaming I 
them, or Mayor Hume, who 
got my archive grant boosted 
from $6000 a year to $12,000. 
I can get along here, but is the ] 
greatest city in the west to be, 
forever without a permanent 
record office? 

Major Matthews draws $300 
per month, "and I spend about 
half of it buying thmgs.for the 

He has one assistant, Mrs. 
Jean Gibbs. Both work limit- 
less hours a week, and the 
major is most Indignant about 
the provincial archive setup in 

'They get $60,000 a year to 
work with, have about 13 em- 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_016 


Vancouver News-Herald, Thursday, 11 March 1954. 

archivist to tell story of city to vancouverites. 

City Archivist, Major J.S. Mattliews, 76, is stepping up liis lecture engagement schedule 
"because it's time I opened my mouth." 

Surrounded by the city's 1 63-year history crammed into the ninth floor of City Hall, Major 
Matthews said, "I'm not going to give up — not while I live, but some day I'll pop off, and who will 
take care of all this?" 

"All this," consists of thousands of articles, filing cabinets, documents, newspaper files, 
old photographs — an almost month-by-month record of the "greatest city in the west." 

Cornerstone of Major Matthews' archives is a carefully-preserved letter written in 1792 to 
England by Captain George Vancouver. 

The age-stained parchment starts a carefully-documented trail to such recent and 
memorable civic milestones as the opening of the new Granville Bridge. 

Major Matthews wants to tell people of the value of his work, and his ultimate aim is a 
separate archive building. 

He says the Park Board has offered land for a building in Stanley Park or on Little 
Mountain, but, as yet. City Council can't see the point in spending the money. 

"Mind you, I am not blaming them, or Mayor Hume, who got my archive grant boosted 
from $6000 a year to $12,000. I can get along here, but is the greatest city in the west to be 
forever without a permanent record office?" 

Major Matthews draws $300 per month, "and I spend about half of it buying things for the 

He has one assistant, Mrs. Jean Gibbs. Both work limitless hours a week, and the major 
is most indignant about the provincial archive setup in Victoria. 

"They get $60,000 a year to work with, have about 13 employees, yet the bulk of the 
history of BC is centred in Vancouver. About half their staff over there does nothing but look after 
Victoria," he said. 

Letter from Major Matthews to Mrs. R.C. Burke, whose husband is manager of 
Dominion Oxygen Co. 

Oct. 25'^ 1954. 

Dear Mrs. Burke: 

The delay in sending you what I promised is due to the impossibility of giving attention to 
all the demands made upon us, hence much of our work is done in the evening, and I have had to 
await a week end to attend to matters arising out of our telephone conversation. This is written at 
my home, Saturday morning, as the City Hall is closed. 

In 1933 the City Council granted my application to call myself "City Archivist." I was 
working at my home at the time, and to my surprise they also allotted me a small disused office in 
the Temporary City Hall, and, better still, added a gratuity of $25 a month to cover "salary" and 

Today, the City Archives occupies one whole floor of the City Hall; has done so since 
1 936, and our monthly grant is $1 ,000. I have never asked for an increase in annual grant; it has 
been given by the Council without being asked for. 


There must be some good reason why successive Councils, for 18 years, permit one 
whole floor of a public building where accommodation is limited, being occupied for archival 
purposes, and why they increase the annual grant from $25 to $1 ,000. One would assume that 
we have filled some useful purpose. What that function is it is impossible for me to explain as it is 
too voluminous, but in a general way I can say that there is no firm, establishment, institution, 
journal, nor private individual in or about Vancouver who has not, at some time in some way, felt 
the influence of the City Archives. We have become the most active archival institution in western 
Canada. We serve not only the City of Vancouver, but the City of North Vancouver, and the four 
surrounding municipalities of West Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Burnaby and 
Richmond. And, of recent years, have been more or less taking care of Fraser Valley cities and 
the peoples of Howe Sound and Powell River, etc. There is a continual constant stream of visitors 
from all over the world. Last month I lectured to one group of about 1 00 from New Zealand and 
Australia. One of our publications was translated and printed in Italian at Rome. ("The North-West 
Passage" by Sergeant Henry Larsen, F.R.G.S., see [reference below].) Yesterday we had a long 
distance call from San Francisco. All historical enquiries received by our Board of Trade — from all 
over the North American continent — are sent to us to answer. We make no charge for any 
service; have never done so. We know no office hours, and as much or more work is done after 
the office closes as while it is open. I have been at my desk every day since 1936. Someone 
might explain what the word "holiday" means. 

Our accommodation 20 years ago, when we moved to the present City Hall was, as I 
have said, one whole floor. There was enough spare room to hold a dance. Today we are so 
confined that we can hardly move about. It would be useless to add to our staff as there is no 
room for additional staff to work and no place to put what extra staff might produce. There has 
been comment that the weight of our material is becoming too much for the structure to bear; too 

In 1932 I was faced with two problems. One, whether to devote my energy to securing 
suitable accommodation, such as our own building, or spend every effort in securing the story of 
Vancouver from those who could tell it before old age took them beyond our reach. I adopted the 
latter course. Had I not done so the people of Vancouver, and, of course, that includes all 
Canada, would not have had the chronicle of our early days. Today it could not be obtained at 
any price. No sum, however large, could buy it. Most of those who told their stories are now dead. 
Consequently, it was most gratifying to me when the Librarian, Parliamentary Library, Ottawa, 
wrote that he knew of no city in Canada which had a more perfect record of its early days than 
had Vancouver. 

There are certain ethics which an archival institution must observe. One can be illustrated 
by saying that no man can be compelled by law to love a woman. It must be voluntary, and the 
longer that love continues the more intense it becomes, until, ultimately, the parting which old age 
must bring, inevitably, becomes almost a terror. It is the same with a mass of citizens. The more 
they know of and the longer they live in a city the greater their affection for it. If a person does not 
love their home, what hope is there? My belief is that I could cure half the juvenile delinquency in 
this city if I could only tell the young rascals of the gallant blood from which they have sprung. 
Another feature is the insatiable thirst which youth has for knowledge, and the anxiety of parents 
about the education of their offspring. So long as these two factors exist there will be use for 
records. It is sometimes amusing when some child, no higher than a counter, and with tousled 
hair, comes in here with a stub of a pencil and a crumpled scrap of paper, and says, "Mister, 
teacher says I've got to write the history of Vancouver." It is hard to keep a straight face. 

The sum total of it all is that, if you do not keep records, books cannot be made. Without 
books we should be without schools and libraries, and, then, civilisation, as we know it, would 
cease. There would be no enlightenment; we should return to the darkness of the savage who 
scratched signs on rocks. 

May I conclude by telling you what I remember of a conversation with August Jack 
Khahtsahlano (Kitsilano). He said: 


"Indians mans jes as anxious liees boy liave education as wliitemans liees boy 
go to university, but liees got no pencil. So tell him. When Indian mans go fish young 
man paddle, old man fish; canoe go slow past places. Lots time tell what happened there. 
Old Indian tell young Indian; then make young Indian say it back sos he gets it right. Then 
tell him again. Some boy no listen; hees no good. Noder boy he listen; say it back; gets it 
right; hees good boy. When he grows up peoples ask him; he knows lots. May be, some 
day, make him chief." 

I am grateful for the opportunity to lay my troubles before you, and for your graciousness 
in permitting it. 

With my deep respects 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Mrs. R.C. Burke, 
5976 Alma Road, 
Vancouver 13. 

P.S. Printed material sent under separate cover. 

Note: many pamphlets have been published by the City Archives. "The North-West Passage" by (then) 
Sergeant Henry Larsen, F.R.G.S., Commander of the R.C.M.P. schooner St. Roch was distributed to 
schools in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Quebec. Many more were also 
distributed to all naval colleges in England and one in northern Ireland by Mr. McAdam, Agent-General for 
British Columbia, London, England. 


The All Red Route by Air. Australian-Canadian Air Service inaugural flight 
REACHED Vancouver 17 September 1946. Aeroplane Warana. 19 September 1946. 

This afternoon while I was speaking to Mrs. John Williams, 2050 Macdonald Street, seated at my desk, 
the door to the City Archives opened, and Mr. Chas. Sutherland, Mayor's Secretary, unexpectedly 
appeared, followed by Commander Taylor of the Australian National Airways Skymaster Aeroplane 
Warana, three officers and two men attired in civilian garb. The officers wore khaki uniforms with gold 
rank badges and arm rings etc. They were a brilliant looking group. 

It was all very unexpected and hurried. They remained perhaps ten minutes during which time I spoke 
rapidly. I took the telescope given by Lord Nelson to Sir Harry Burrard in 1805, and Commander Percival 
T.L. Taylor looked at the City through it. Miss [blank] rushed to get photos of C.P.R. Locomotive 374, 
which inaugurated the "All Red Route" by land in 1887, and I explained that yesterday, 17 September 
1 946 was a very auspicious date in the history of the British Empire; the occasion of the inauguration of 
the "All Red Route" around the world by air, and that we had not overlooked the significance of the 
extraordinary, almost marvellous achievement. 

In a fleeting sweep through the centuries I explained the history of North America from its discovery by 
Columbus in 1492; showed them maps of one hundred and fifty years ago when British Columbia was 
thought to be the "Western Sea"; how Captain Vancouver tried to find a passage by water from the Pacific 
to the Atlantic; how the Canadian Pacific Railway linked the Atlantic to the Pacific and established the first 
"All Red Route" around the world; gave each a copy of my "Linking the Atlantic to the Pacific," and it was 
all in great haste, smiles and good humour. They shook hands, departed through the door and 
disappeared from sight. I shouted after them "Advance Australia" (the Australian motto.) 

The Mayor's Secretary was kind enough to phone his thanks and commented, "You did splendidly." 



Memo of conversation with Mr. Sidney Ashdown, of 224 West 10™ Avenue, whose 
daughter, miss doris ashdown, suggested to him that he call at the city archives, 
which he did, 9 september 1954. 

He is somewhat feeble, but mentally most active. 

Clearing the land of Shaughnessy Heights. 

Mr. Ashdown: "I was born at Regent's Park, London, May 21^' 1866. I came here from England with wife 
and daughters in 1906. 

"I read in the newspaper that the Canadian Pacific Railway was clearing land with donkey engines. I did 
not know what a donkey engine was, but I went up there and talked to men who were hauling logs. They 
were clearing the stumps and the downfalls. They were all knotted and twisted together. It was about 10* 
Avenue, and when they got the logs up it generally took about twenty minutes or an hour to unhook 

Note: he refers to the piles of roots and stumps hauled up by gin pole and donkey thirty feet high, and, 
when a log or stump was hauled to the top the hook had to be released — somehow. 

H.J. Cambie. Donkey engines. 

"Like a good many other men, I had an ambition to invent something useful, and after about three 
attempts I succeeded in evolving something which appealed to Mr. Cambie, Mr. H.J. Cambie, the C.P.R. 
civil engineer in charge. I told him I could not afford to spend any more money on this experiment 
(something which I had demonstrated was practical) and could only perfect my device if the Company 
gave me a job. To my surprise, within two or three weeks they gave me a job as foreman of a gang and 
put me in charge of the best clearing plant which was ever used. 

"As I had put to work so many clearing plants with my invention I figured I should make more money in 
the State of Washington where every farmer was clearing land. However, I was disappointed in that, as 
the farmers did not want to pay anything, and my terms were five dollars per acre for the use of my 
invention. The Canadian Pacific Railway had already signed a contract to pay me half of that, that is, 
$2.50 per acre, on all their clearing. 

"I foolishly took a trip to the Old Country, which I had not seen for eight years, that was in 1 91 2, and more 
foolishly, I stayed too long. I returned in 1914. 

"I am not a machinist. I am the son of one of the oldest music publishers in London. There is not much 
connection between music and land clearing. The device only cost $37.00 to make; it was a simple thing. 
It was all hand work; any blacksmith could make it. In the land clearing it saved $40 or $50 an acre. It is 
not used now because we don't use donkey engines; all land clearing is now done by bulldozers. 
Bulldozers, to my knowledge, did not exist at that time. 

"Unfortunately, when I went away my friend partner went into selling motor cars; my friend neglected my 
business. I lost the Sooke Lake contract." 


"They did finally use it and one of the men told me they had not done any decent work until they got my 
invention. The biggest contract I ever had was with the Vancouver Power Co." (B.C. Electric) "when they 
were clearing a large acreage to build the dam at Coquitlam. So far as I know on the thousands of acres 
on which it was used not one man was injured in any way. Previous to that some man was injured almost 
every day. 

"When I invented it I took it out to a small place called Magee. There was a small contractor working 
there. The man working on the stumps lost his life as a result of not using my invention. 

"I was robbed of thousands of dollars — the United States government got it. Another man tried to get a 
patent on it. I should have made fifty thousand dollars out of that. No one ever gets any justice in the 
United States — you know that. 


"Here's an example of American justice. Tine judge wlio first liad my case said lie could not finish my case 
because he was using the invention himself. The rascal who was representing me in Seattle, that is, the 
lawyer, told me that if I liked to appeal the case I would win and it would cost me only three hundred" 
($300) "but I would have to go to San Francisco. I replied, 'I have just put up two hundred'" ($200) "'for a 
transcript of the mess you have made in my case, but you can take the whole business to San Francisco 
or here, if you like, and I will give you ninety percent of the proceeds you collect and that should be at 
least $100,000.'" 

Shaughnessy Heights. 

"We started clearing where McRae had his home afterwards." 

(Note: Colonel A.D. McRae, who built "Hycroft," now Hycroft Military Hospital, McRae Avenue.) 

Hindoos. Colonel A.D. McRae. 

"The C.P.R. paid the Hindoos 5714 cents a day for their labour — fifty-seven and a half, but then, they built 
a great long shed for them to live in." 

Black powder. Stumping powder. 

"We used black powder; sometimes put two or three boxes, without opening them, under a stump. I had 
the contract below McRae's place. I was on a salary, $75.00 a month" (seventy-five dollars.) "Johnston 
was getting seventy-two, and I was getting three dollars more. He was jealous." 

C.P.R. GARDENS. Col. Alfred Markham. 

"Colonel Markham cleared the vegetable and flower gardens the C.P.R. had beside the interurban track 
at Kerrisdale." 

Bear and deer. West Vancouver. 

October 7*, 1952. 

West Vancouver bears 

Dear Mr. McAdam: 

Sometimes, somewhere, a light story may be wanted, and this one is true. 

The black bears have been giving a lot of trouble in North and West Vancouver this 
summer. Large and small, with or without cubs, they come down from Grouse Mountain and 
Hollyburn Ridge and break into gardens, root up the delicacies; eat anything from raspberries to 
apples; climb over fences, and their weight damages the fence; make a regular nuisance of 
themselves and hasten back to the tall timbers before anything can be done about it. In all, from 
Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove, North Arm, there have been about fifty reported this summer. 
They never hurt anyone. 

The extraordinary thing is that householders telephone the police. A constable comes 
running with his revolver. It sounds amusing to hear that the constable failed. Odd to send for a 
policeman about the bear's behavior. 

However, this is the prize pastmaster XXXX forty overproof extra special story, and is 

Mrs. Plummer of Howe Sound Lane, West Vancouver, went to a community chest 
meeting, and left milk and apples on the kitchen table for her two children, boy and girl, when they 
got back from school that afternoon. Warm day, and she left the kitchen window up, and the little 
half grown cub crawled up a nearby barrel, and squeezed in through the open window. 

The little bear spilt one bottle of milk, but got the benefit of the other, and the peaches 


Then he wandered into the drawing room, played tag with the bool<s and bric-a-brac, and 
left it in disorder. 

Then he went upstairs and tried Mrs. Plummer's bed, so went to sleep on top of it; or 
rather, by the looks of it all crushed down, we suppose he did. 

Having tired of the afternoon's enjoyment he went back to the kitchen window, left that 
way, and took to the woods. Of course he left his visiting card. 

Raccoon at Kitsilano. 

Last summer my niece was leaning over the rail protection at the top of the cliff. 
University of B.C., Point Grey, looked downwards and there, within ten feet, was a raccoon 
studying her. She screamed. The 'coon bolted. A 'coon was on top of my roof at Kitsilano Beach 
about three years ago. The "News-Herald" City Hall reporter lives near the beach on the West 
Vancouver shore. As he was dressing early one morning, to his astonishment, he watched a deer 
walk across his lawn towards the salt water. The deer entered the water a short few feet, played 
around, and then when Mr. Bruce opened the window, a slight noise alarmed the animal and it 
hurried back to the mountains behind. 

A year or so ago I flew over the mountains of the north shore. A more magnificent and 
appalling sight I never saw. It was winter and the peaks were white with snow. It was the wildest 
scene I have ever seen — something akin to the Atlantic Ocean in a violent storm and the peaks 
and valleys were without number. This is the habitat of our wild animals. There are over 300 
cabins on Hollyburn Ridge, Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain, occupied by the young folk 
every week-end, and I suppose some of the wild animals become familiar with human beings, 
gradually getting bolder and bolder until they lose all fear of man. That, probably, accounts for so 
many bears bothering the gardens of West and North Vancouver. 

But, the little "chap" who slumbered in madam's boudoir in her own town mansion is the 
best yet. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

W.A. McAdam, Esq., C.M.G., 
Agent General for B.C., 

The last of the Beaver. Prospect Point, First Narrows, Vancouver, 1898-1914. 

200 West 1 5* Street, 
North Vancouver, B.C. 
March 27*, 1950. 

To Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. 

Dear Sir: 

In answer to your letter of March 6"^ and Mrs. Harrop's reference to Station there, she 
meant the First Narrows Light House and Fog Station, known as Prospect Point. 

My father, John Grove, took charge of that Station in the year 1 898, month of September. 
He had been assistant Light Keeper at Point Atkinson before appointment to Prospect Point. He 
remained there until his death in 1935. 

My recollection of "Beaver" was when the tide was low, I would climb on to the Paddle 
wheel frame-work and onto the boiler, then search in the sand and under any small rocks for 
copper rivets, copper nails and some sheet copper. Then, on extreme low tides it was possible to 


get pieces of beams and parts of the keel with rivets or long bolts in such pieces. At that time 
there was no top works or the cabin left. It had been removed to make canes as curios for 
tourists. If the hull was taken away, whoever took it forgot to take the keel because I pulled up a 
piece four feet long, eight inches by eight inches. This piece was, as all other wood, below water, 
perforated by toredos [teredos] and that was about 1913. That same year I also pulled up an 
anchor which was one belonging to the "Beaver," or the same as was used on her. This anchor 
was completely covered by very large barnacles. We notified the Museum at the time. Someone 
took it away later but nearly all barnacles had been removed and it did not look so imposing. 

You asked if any part was left in 1914. The only remaining part was a small section of the 
keel just level with the sand and rocks. The rocks would break away from the Prospect Point cliff 
and roll down and cover all the remaining evidence of anything that was embedded there. The 
sandstone all along Stanley Park is continually washing away and it has deposited many tons of 
sand into the Narrows and English Bay. This sand covers everything rapidly. 

I sincerely hope this will give you the information you wished. If in future I can be of 
assistance, please call on me. I remain 

Yours truly, 

W.L. Grove 

Conversation, 11 April 1946, with John Warren Bell, pioneer of Burrard Inlet, 


Thain, teacher); and was a frequent visitor to Gastown. 

Major Matthews: 

Mr. Bell: 

Major Matthews: 

Mr. Bell: 

Major Matthews: 

Mr. Bell: 

Major Matthews: 

Mr. Bell: 

Major Matthews: 
Mr. Bell: 

Major Matthews: 
Mr. Bell: 

Please read this, in the Province, April 9 . (He reads.) What do you think of it? 

"I shouldn't like to say." 

Why not? 

"She is a lady of repute, I presume." 

School Teacher. But why not say what you think. 

"It wouldn't be wise." 

Well, throw discretion to the winds for once, and tell me what you think of it. 

"Well, in the first place. Gassy Jack would be a fool to do it" (tie a man to a tree), 
"and in the second place he couldn't do it. 

"Yes, see, they didn't do those things in those days. Unwritten law wouldn't allow 
such a thing; it couldn't and wouldn't be done. The people would get up in arms; you 
see, the whole fraternity; everybody knew each other; they wouldn't allow any man 
to be treated in that manner; there were unwritten ethics of the day, they wouldn't 
allow any citizen to be tied or strapped up — unless they were having some fun, and 
did it in a joke, but not any serious ..." 

How did they treat their drunken man? 

"Leave him alone; as long as he didn't encroach; he had his freedom. So long as he 
didn't make a nuisance of himself; then they might throw him out of the hotel, or 
wherever he was. Don't bother with him; tell him get out." 

Did you ever see them do anything of the sort as stated in the Province. 

"Never did; never heard of it. I remember, up at Maxie's, two men got into an 
argument, and one would tell the other to do what he would do to him. They were 
privileged to settle their differences outside, squaring away, and settle it, shake 
hands — you're a better man, the drinks are on me, and all hands would go up to the 


bar. Sometimes men would say, 'Let's put him to bed,' and next time it may be you 
tliey put to bed. Tliere was never any malice or ill feeling." 

Major Matthews: Do you think Constable Miller would stand for it? He lived next door. 

Mr. Bell: "Constable Miller was a very fine man; he was human; he understood them. He 

showed kindness and consideration for their weaknesses, and love of the flowing 
bowl and over-indulgence. Miller was a fine fellow." 

Major Matthews: Did you know John Deighton? 

Mr. Bell: "No. I was too small. I've seen him, but cannot recall much about him." 

Major Matthews: Did you ever hear of him being accused of tying a man to a tree? 

Mr. Bell: (with disgust) "Oh, heck" (after a pause.) "He wasn't that kind of man. Why would he 

do a thing like that. It would ruin his trade. His livelihood depended upon those men. 
He'd be the loser." 

As he was leaving: 

Major Matthews: But you didn't tell me what you thought of the article. Listen while I read. (Reads) 
"Drunks tied to tree in city's early days." 

Mr. Bell: "Ridiculous. She doesn't know what she's talking about. Don't let them get away with 

that sort of stuff." 

[Letter from J.S. Matthews to Miss Helen Boutilier.] 

"Drunks ... in City's early days" 

10'^ April 1946. 

Dear Miss Boutilier: 

"This was one of the highlights of Miss Helen Boutilier's talk on 'Vancouver's Earliest Days' before 
the B.C. Historical Association meeting, etc., etc., 'pugnacious inebriates'" — from "Province" 
Tuesday, April 9*, 1946. 

Some time ago, following an address which I believe you made in Victoria, comments of 
an adverse character reached me upon the tone of your address, but I have refrained from 
mentioning it to you. 

Quite recently you submitted to me a manuscript, which I took home and went over. I 
spent a lot of time on it. You will recall I objected to some of it and made pencil notations. 

Just what action will be taken in connection with the report of your address as given in 
the "Province" I am not yet in a position to say, but from what I gather, it is likely representations 
will be made to the School Board. In some quarters the account has been very severely 
commented upon. 

I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 

J.S. Matthews 
City Archivist 

Miss Helen Boutilier, 

Note: Miss Boutilier was president of the British Columbia Historical Association in 1945. See 
"Vancouver's Earliest Days," pp. 151 to 170, British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. X, 1946. A.W. 




[photo annotation:] 

Gibson's landing, Howe Sound, B.C., circa 1 900-1 91 0. Lester R. Peterson, of Gibson's, B.C., wrote, Aug. 
1954 and Jan. 1955, to City Arcliives, Vancouver: - 

"Tine store was built by George Gibson, senior, around 1 900. It was burned down in 1910. It stood at the 
head of the wharf where the John Wood Hardware store now stands. The legal description is Lot seven. 
Parcel A, Block C, D.L. 686. There was no such subdivision at the time it was built, or in operation. It is 
not the oldest store; the present Howe Sound Trading Co's structure being built by Mr. Gibson's eldest 
son about 1895. Mr. Gibson and his sons built their own piledriver, so I am told by our Clerk, Mr. Robert 
Burns, who saw it when he was a boy; it had a capstan for raising the hammer. They drove pilings 
midway between the present wharf and the LePage Glue Factory, still standing, and remained in use until 
1 900 or 1 901 , when the glue factory and the first government wharf were built." Information on authority 
Mrs. Grace Chamberlin, granddaughter, and Robert Burns, Esq., Municipal Clerk. 

L. to R. Boy unknown; Mr. White; Mrs. Albert McColl, nee Hattie Gibson; Mrs. Patterson, nee Nellie 
Gibson; Don Patterson; Tom Wells, holding Vera McColl, Mrs. Gibson; Mr. George Gibson, and two 
Chinamen who worked for Mr. Gibson. 

The founding of Gibson's Landing. 

J.W. Bell. 

In the early days of the eighteen-nineties, when I was superintendent at the Nanaimo Saw Mill, I 
became acquainted with a tall rangy man of about fifty years of age, a State of Mainer, I think, an 
American at any rate. This person bought lumber in small quantities, doing odd jobs and living in 
a cabin alone. 

Being that he was of a kindly agreeable disposition, we became quite intimate, and knowing he 
was hard up, I was in a position to help him in many ways, even if he had an independent nature 
and refused credit. 

"Anything I can't pay for — I can do without," was the way he put it. 

One day he asked me if I knew of any place on the coast where he could take up a piece of 
land — preferably on the mainland — not isolated — reasonably near some town. "I have a family I 
would like to make a home for some place. I have not many more years ahead of me. I have not 
money enough to buy a place. What I would like is enough ground to raise vegetables, keep a 
cow, some chickens, and where there is good fishing so I can make enough money selling fish to 
buy necessities." 

We talked about the delta of the Fraser. 

"But that takes money," he interrupted. I told him there was no place on Burrard Inlet suitable. 
Howe Sound was not much better, nothing on the east side — ^just around Gower Point, inside 
Howe Sound was a small sheltered bay — but the country was heavily timbered, plenty salmon, 
cod and herring. 

On and off, for weeks, I told him about the coast — Robert's Creek, Sechelt, Texada and Lasquiti 

At last he decided to make a break and go some place as his son, a tall fine young man, had 
joined him. 

"I am going to build me a boat, one I can live in and cruise around until I find a place," he 
announced. "How much will the lumber cost for a double-ender, flat bottom, thirty feet long?" 

When I told him the price of clear boat lumber thirty feet long, he shook his head. "No, just rough 
lumber; the cheapest I can buy — knots won't hurt if they are sound." 


He and his son built tine boat on tine beacli. I tool< considerable pleasure selecting the lumber and 
advising economy in many ways. It was not a craft one could be proud of, but it answered the 
purpose. His bill for the material was as low as I dared make it without hurting the old man's 

He and his son loaded all their belongings in the cabin foreward and sailed away before a 
westerly breeze in the direction I told them would take them to Howe Sound — no compass or 
charts. I never heard of or saw them after; until ten years later I had occasion to go to Howe 
Sound to inspect some logs for J.S. Emerson and upon landing at the wharf I met my old 
acquaintance who gave me a most hearty greeting — invited me to his house where I met his wife 
and daughter. 

That evening he told me the story of landing in the little bay I had described to him. "I have been 
here ever since — thanks to your advice." 

Gibson was a fine character, good citizen. His path was not strewn with roses — it had many 
thorns and rough spots, but he did make a home for his family. 

Dea r Major 

I thought you might be interested in Gibson as he was well known in Vancouver. 

I have written how it happened he located at what is now known as Gibson's 

J.W. Bell. 

Received the story unsigned, 18 October 1946 from my good friend, John Warren Bell, pioneer, Burrard 
Inlet, 1871. J.S. Matthews. 

Note: since June 1947 "Gibson's Landing" has been known as "Gibsons." A.W. 


31^' Oct 1946. 

To Major J.S. Matthews, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Your enquiry about what I know about the "Big Fir Tree" which has been illustrated, 
discussed and written about in our local press of recent date is not worth comment or discussion. 

I remember seeing the same picture many years ago. Who had it, or how long ago I 
cannot say. It was being shown among the crowd as a "Fir Tree" — Who fell it? and where? were 
the questions asked. 

"Here, DeBeck," he said, addressing my uncle Ward, "You're an old-timer and should 
know — tell us about it." 

"What the heck are you trying to pull off now? You know as well as I do that it is not a fir. 
Who ever saw bark that thick on a fir? Besides, it's stringy. Twenty-five feet in diameter alright — 
but it is not a fir. You can pull such stuff on cheechakoes, they like it — but you know very well no 
fir ever grew that large. You know it is a redwood tree of California. I have worked in the 
redwoods — have seen them larger — much larger. The drinks are on you — come on, boys, he tried 
to put over a foolish one." 

That's about the size of it. Major. It was a joke they tried to spring on the boys and it fell 

Periodically that same picture appears in Lumber Journals and now we have located 
where it grew? "Lynn Creek" "fell some time about 1895?" 


Logging WITH OXEN. 

Cottrell logged with oxen up Lynn Creek Valley in 1871 — My folks lived there at that time 
and being loggers cruised the whole of Burrard Inlet. 

Mountain goats. 

in later years I cruised the valley as far up as the mountain goats live and never saw or 
heard of such a sized tree of any species. For years I was scaler, cruiser and log buyer in B.C. 
and Washington. One of the finest and largest fir I can recall was the one that grew where the 
Burns Block stands. Cuts from that tree stood at the C.P. Ry. Station for show purposes. Others 
were shipping to Eastern Exhibits. Its photo and size you have. I have heard of reports of fir trees 
being fifteen feet in diameter. That is quite possible — but twelve feet is the largest butt I recall 
having scaled in the log. Ground measurement is quite different from butt or stump measurement 
which varies from three feet and up from the ground. That makes a great difference in the 
diameter. That's about all I know about the Big Fir — nothing — a hoax. 

J. Warren Bell. 

After seventy years. 

By John Warren Bell, pioneer. 

In his usual abrupt voice Major Matthews, of the City Archives, phoned me and asked if I knew an 
old-timer, Mrs. Crakanthorp, who lived on Burrard Inlet in the early seventies. 

"No," was my answer, "never heard of her." "I want you to meet her," he resumed. "Come up to 
the Archives on Wednesday, at 3:00 p.m. Good, I'll be expecting you. That's all — good-bye," and 
he hung up the phone. 

Crakanthorp! Crakanthorp! Who in the world is Mrs. Crakanthorp? I pondered. The Major must 
have gotten his dates mixed, for I knew or heard of all the people on the Inlet in the early 
seventies as I had come up on the steamer "Beaver" from Victoria in 1 871 . I will see Mrs. 
Crakanthorp — someone who came to Vancouver after the fire, when a child, I'll bet — early 
seventies! The Major is all mixed up in his dates. 

Promptly at five minutes to three p.m., I strolled up to the City Hall. Just ahead of me was a little 
old lady accompanied by a young lady, well-dressed, alert and attentive. Not very young for I 
noticed a few grey hairs among her abundant black tresses. I also noted her clear, fresh, natural 
complexion and her vivaciousness. The elderly lady was neatly dressed in black, skirt a little 
longer — with more of a reserve in her demeanor, yet a natural confident air. A dear sweet old lady 
like those I remember in my youth. 

They also went to the City Hall and took the elevator. Not caring to appear to be following I took 
the next elevator going up. 

I was admitted by the young lady in attendance and saw the ladies sitting at the Major's desk. 

"Come here Mr. Bell — let me introduce you to Mrs. Crakanthorp and her daughter — you are all 

"How do you do, Johnny," she asked as she smilingly extended her gloved hand. "Do you know 
me — do you remember me?" I exclaimed, as I retained her hand in mine. 

"Certainly I remember you and your sister Emelene, your brother Ward, your mother, aunt Nora 
(Mrs. Hughes) and all the DeBeck family. I am one of the Patterson girls — you remember them of 

"Sure I do, there were three of you — all pretty with black eyes and black hair. Yes, I remember 
you by your eyes just the same twinkle as they had or one of your sisters, you were so much 


"Be seated, please," suggests the Major, "You can talk just as well sitting." 

I wanted to talk so kept right on and told about he time I made a trip on a steamer with one of the 
Patterson girls — it must have been in seventy-five — I was about eight years old. Can not 
remember where we came from or where we were going, nor the name of the steamer — nothing 
but a Miss Patterson and myself the only passengers on board. She was a year or two older than 
I and so dog-gone pretty and attractive that I stayed with her all the time until finally she went 
below, layed on a settee, and went to sleep. 

Now I am going to tell a secret I have kept over seventy years, just for fear of being reprimanded 
and asked, "if I was not ashamed." 

I got so lonesome I went below and found Miss Patterson asleep. I dare not disturb her. Quietly I 
tiptoed up close. The words of a song I had heard came to my mind and I muttered: 

"Beautiful girl with beautiful eyes. 
Bright as the morning and blue as the skies 
Beautiful hair and teeth as well. 
Beautiful, beautiful Nell." 

Her eyes were black, not blue — anyway it expressed my thoughts. As quietly as a mouse I leaned 
over and kissed her on the cheek. Noiselessly I went on deck again, and from that day to this 
have kept my secret. Fear at first kept my mouth shut. Later on I — well, I just didn't tell. 

All the time I was telling my story Mrs. Crakanthorp was listening intently, and, when finished, she 
said, smiling, "I remember — I am the Miss Patterson. I am Alice. I was about eleven or twelve. We 
were on the steamer "Maude," Captain Holmes, going from Nanaimo to Moodyville." 

"What was wrong about a boy kissing a girl?" asks the Major. 

Mrs. Crakanthorp answered him. "In those days. Major, it was different from the present time. 
'Necking' and such like was unheard of. Women and girls were held in such high esteem that 
liberties were not taken." 

"I know that, Mrs. Crakanthorp," I admitted, "that's why I never told anyone. After all these years 
you'll forgive me, won't you?" She laughed, and I knew she was more pleased than angry. 

"Miss Klemm, how is the kettle getting along? — time we had tea and refreshments for these two 
gossips," the Major calls out. Still we kept on. 

Says Mrs. Crakanthorp, "After the DeBecks went to Westminster we moved into their house at 
Moodyville — attended Mrs. Thain's school on the hill above the mill. There were the Lynn family, 
the Springers, Cottrel, Sullivan boys — Charlie was musical, played the piano but later just a 
barroom thumper. Arthur, though a negro, was a good citizen. The Lynn's never were noted for 
anything, except Hugh who murdered Jack Green on Savary Island. He was a Squaw Man and 
preferred to live with the Indians. Outside of a few we were pretty respectable citizens." 

"Did you know Wilcox, the man who did card tricks?" asked Mrs. Crakanthorp. 

"Yes, I remember him — a little man with one glass eye that he would take out and scare the 
Indians. He was clever; at an entertainment in the Hall he cackled like a hen and an egg fell out of 
his mouth into his hand," I narrated. "Pick money up anywhere, disappear, return it again right in 
front of you." 

"Mrs. Crakanthorp, please stop long enough to drink a cup of tea. Do you take sugar? Help 
yourself to the cookies. Pull up your chair, Mr. Bell." Our host was not as interested in recalling 
the past as I was. 

"Have you never seen each other since '75? That's over seventy years ago?" asked the Major. 

We both answered "No" and he chuckled to himself, saying, no wonder we wanted to talk. 


Mrs. Crakanthorp started again by asking if I ever saw Mr. Dietz, one of the owners of tlie mill, 
and his Indian, Charlie Scow, who carried him about on his back. 

"I do," I replied, "in fact I mentioned it in my Memoirs," which I got and read from page 15 — "I saw 
him (Dietz) being carried on the back of an Indian from the ferry boat to the store." (At 

"What was the matter with him?" asked the Major. 

"I think his legs were paralyzed," answered Mrs. Crakanthorp. "Anyway he could not walk. Charlie 
Scow was his valet I guess you'd call him. Wherever Dietz went he took Scow with him." 

"In San Francisco, where those who could afford it went during the winter, Dietz always took 
Scow to look after him and after Charlie Scow got Dietz to bed about nine o'clock Charlie would 
dress up in Dietz's Prince Albert coat, silk hat, and take in the City." 

"Do you mean to tell me the Indian went out dressed in Dietz's clothes? Ridiculous!!" says the 

"Indeed he did. Major. Of course, he did not tell Dietz, but that's what he did. Most of the business 
men in San Francisco wore Prince Alberts and top hats to their place of business, offices and 
clubs. That was a common costume in those days." 

"That's a fact. Major, for I spent 1887 and '88 winter in 'Frisco. There was no bank notes in 
circulation — it was all gold and silver coin, and men dressed as Mrs. Crakanthorp says. They 
were noted for their dress. We in B.C. always wore white kid gloves at balls and even club or 
home dance. Like some of our birds and animals, they disappear when civilization overtakes the 

"The women never went out with bare hands — always wore gloves. Major," joins in Mrs. 
Crakanthorp. "Neither did men go bare-headed like they do today. Seldom you see a gentleman 
lift his hat upon meeting a lady these days." "How can they, when they have no hat on?" I asked. 

We chatted away for an hour or so, recalling to mind events and people of long ago. The Roger's 
family (of Jericho) — only one left now, Louise, and Capt. Perry Rogers, a cousin. All the DeBecks 
of the first generation have passed on. The Lions and Siwash Rock are the same and the tides 
ebb and flood — twice every twenty-four hours, as they always have. Not many like we two are left 
unchanged by events. We still harp back to our former early days and believe our folks were the 
greatest on earth, with all their faults. 

"I would be pleased to have you call and see me, Johnnie — at your convenience. Here is my 
address and phone number. It's a real pleasure to see you after all these years. I must thank you, 
Major, inviting us." 

"You don't know what pleasure it has been for me to unburden my secret, locked up for seventy 
years, and to feel and know I have been forgiven. I will phone you and find out when it is 
convenient for me to call." 

Could I have accepted her invitation in the vernacular of the present day? 

"Say! it's been swell seeing yuh. Thanks a lot — sure I'll come and see you. It's O.K. with me. Bye! 


10 February 1948 - Dietz of Moodyville. 

Excerpt, British Columbia Memoirs, J.W. Bell, 1947, p. 15: 

Deitz/s/cy lived in Victoria. I saw him once, when he visited the mill; being carried on the back of 
an Indian from the boat landing to the store. I believed he had lost the use of his legs; perhaps 

Note by J.S.M. Mr. Bell lives (1948) at the Alcazar Hotel, Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. 

Page (unnumbered, but the two last in the book) 

John Ward Bell [John Warren Bell?]: "Mrs. Crakanthorp started again by asking me if I never saw 
Mr. Dietz, one of the owners of the mill, and his Indian Charlie Scow, who carried him about on 
his back. 

"I do," I replied. "In fact, I mentioned him in my Memoirs," which I got, and read from page 15. "I 
saw him (Dietz) being carried on the back of an Indian from the ferry boat to the store." 

"What was the matter with him?" asked the Major. 

"I think his legs were paralyzed," answered Mrs. Crakanthorp. "Anyway, he could not walk. 
Charlie Scow was his valet I guess you'd call him Wherever Dietz went he took Scow with him. In 
San Francisco, where those who could afford it went during the winter, Dietz always took Scow to 
look after him and after Charlie Scow got Dietz to bed about nine o'clock Charlie would dress up 
in Dietz's Prince Albert coat, silk hat, and take to the City." 

"Do you mean to tell me the Indian went out dressed in Dietz's clothes? Ridiculous!!" says the 

"Indeed he did. Major. Of course, he did not tell Dietz, but that's what he did. Most of the business 
men in San Francisco wore Prince Alberts and top hats to their place of business, offices and 
clubs. That's a fact. Major, for I spent 1887 and '88 winter in 'Frisco. 

etc. etc. ... 

"The women never went out with bare hands — always wore gloves, Major," joined in Mrs. 

Conversation with Mr. John Warren Bell, pioneer, 1867, now of the Alcazar 
Hotel, Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver, who kindly called at the City Archives this 
afternoon and chatted, 12 may 1948. 

Glad Tidings. Mission ship. Captain William Oliver. 

Major Matthews: Mr. Bell, did you know Captain Oliver? 

Mr. Bell: "Of the Glad Tidings, sure I knew him; pretty tough character. 

"You know. George Leask, he was engineer on the Glad Tidings. He told me about it. They were up at 
Cortez Island, where 'Mike' Manson started a store. They were up there one night and the Reverend 
Thomas Crosby got preaching, and got warmed up to his subject and quoted from the Bible and told all 
about where it said that if a member of your body offend thee, cut it off, cast it away, or you cannot enter 
the kingdom of heaven. So Captain Oliver goes right out from the meeting, got an axe, and cut it off, just 
left a stub about an inch and a half long. It nearly killed him; he pretty near died. George Leask told me." 

Major Matthews: Did he own the Glad Tidings? What did they do with him. Take him to Nanaimo? 

Mr. Bell: "No, the Mission people did. Victoria hospital I think they took him to. Afterwards I saw the nurse 
who nursed him, great big fine woman; but she wasn't nursing when she told me about it. She said he 
pretty nearly 'did' for himself. But he got better. I knew Captain Oliver myself. I was living on the sand spit 


at Skidegate, Queen Charlotte Islands — logging. Oliver used to come around the camp, but the fellows 
didn't pay any attention to him. He used to come to the logging camp. He had a boat of his own." 

Major Matthews: The Udal? 

Mr. Bell: "I don't know if she had a name. About, say, 1 930, he came along to the camp one night and 
wanted the fellows to come to his service, but they all knew about him — how he had deformed himself — 
so they just took no notice, and by and bye he started up his engine and went off. There was no meeting; 
no one went." 

Major Matthews: Must have been fanatical or something. 

Mr. Bell: "I don't know. Maybe." 

(And Mr. Bell shook his head as though he didn't know what to think and was puzzled that any man in his 
senses should take an axe and deliberately cut off part of a member of his own body, and do it under the 
delusion that the Bible told he could not enter the kingdom of heaven otherwise.) 

Deep Cove. 

Nov. 23'^ 1948. 

Major J. S. Matthews, 
Archivist, Vancouver, B.C. 

My dear Major: 

Jack Scales. 

You phoned me the other day and admonished me for not writing more memoirs of my 
early life, "Few are living who were in B.C. prior to Confederation 1867. Jack Scales recently 
passed away — I was at his funeral. You suggest I write what I know of Deep Cove, particularly 
regarding the ox-team days of logging — camps — how they lived — transportation — how they got 
their logs to the mills." 

There is little to chronicle that would interest you or the public of today. I read articles in 
the Magazine sections of our daily press by Cheechako would-be historians, photographs and 
pictures. Some are so fantastic and ridiculous — yet so colorful and exciting that for me to even 
attempt to state what few simple facts that still remains in "memories storehouse" would be of 
little interest and less understood. You are an exception Major — so I bought this green covered 
copy book for ten cents — sharpened my lead pencil and will scribble away in an effort to convince 
you how little there is to write about. 

Moodyville. Cottrel's ox-team camp. Lynn's Creek. Roger's camp. Jericho. Hastings 
Mill. Hand-logging on Burrard Inlet. 

in my Memoirs I wrote of my life at Moodyville — Cottrel's Ox-team camp at Lynn's Creek, 
and Roger's camp at Jericho, just those two camps in 1 870. Neither the Hastings mill or 
Moodyville had large daily out-put — not over an average 40 m. ft. My grandparents and family 
lived on the flat, west of Lynn Creek as well as my parents, sister and myself. 

All were engaged in hand-logging on Burrard Inlet — a most primate way of logging 
suitable only for mountain sides with slopes steep enough so the full length tree would run by 
gravity into the "salt-chuck." 

Only a small percentage of the total timber could be logged in this manner, a tree here a 
tree there — after figuring out where to fall it so as it could run into the water. Sometimes a small 
stand in a draw, could be run down the same runway — but usually each tree made its own path to 
the beach. 


Another drawback to hand-logging was a shallow beach on the shore where the log 
would stick. Then there were bluffs and rough broken ground, even if there was choice timber 
they would be smashed or broken in falling. 

Deep Cove. "Cottonwood" Smith's bluff. "Selalacum Sign." 

Deep Cove, as you know, is a sheltered cove on the North Arm of Burrard Inlet, sheltered 
from wind and out of tidal currents. It was in that sheltered spot my folks had their booming 
ground and camps on log floats from where they operated along the north shore, above 
'Cottonwood' Smith's bluff on which was painted the 'Selalacum Sign' by the Indians, a warning 
not to trespass in that vicinity on penalty of death. 

Warren DeBeck. Pitt Lake. 

The houses or shacks were of sawn lumber with usually a roofed verandah for fire wood, 
tools, etc. V troughs of 1" x 6" caught the rain from the shake roof which was caught in a barrel — 
augmented by a trough from a nearby stream during a dry spell. I recall Warren DeBeck's camp 
on what was called the Big-flat at Pitt Lake — not having lumber — poles of 4" to 6" dia. had a V 
trough, cut by axe, the full length that supplied a basin hewed in a good sized log where the crew 
washed themselves. 

Usually one of the women — (they were Grandma DeBeck, Warren's wife Annie, Nora, 
Josephine and my mother) would take turns cooking at the camp at Deep Cove. Food consisted, 
in the main, of home-made bread, vegetables and wild game, such as grouse, ducks and geese. 
Clams and crabs in abundance, mowich (deer) were plentiful. Saturday the hounds were put out 
at some favorable point and one person would watch in a row boat or canoe to shoot the deer 
when he took to the water to throw the dogs off the scent. Boy like, I still remember their names, 
Gypsy, Delores, Wallace and Bruce. There was no law at that time against hunting with dogs, or 
season limits. The carcass was hung in the shade of the verandah. Saturdays nearly everyone 
rowed home to Moodyville taking fresh venison and any birds they may have shot. 

Deer. Hunting dogs. 

My uncle Clarence DeBeck said that Cottonwood Smith had a young hound that he was 
anxious to break in, so, according to Smith, he turned them loose on the mainland. The deer to 
escape swam to one of the small islands in the Third Narrows. Smith, thinking of his young 
hound's first hunt, loaded the dogs in the boat, put the dogs on the island and sat in his boat, 
which he had run to the shore, and waited results. It was not long before the hounds took up the 
scent. Soon a young doe came running toward the boat. "I sat still," said Smith, "and she jumped 
into the boat, put her head in my lap as if for protection. In a couple of minutes the hounds came 
giving tongue. I turned the boat around where they piled in the stern. I put the doe in the bow so 
they could not get to her. If you promise you will not tell the boys I'll tell you the truth. I pulled over 
to the mainland — put the deer ashore and took the dogs home." What about the pup's first 
lesson? "I know I am a fool but those soft brown eyes pleaded to me for protection — don't tell 
anyone DeBeck." 

Decker's Bay, Bidwell Bay now. Hall's Ranch, now Belcarra. 

Steve Decker's float was moved in Decker's Bay (Bidwell Bay now). John Hall at Hall's 
ranch now Belcarra. There were others I remember — Bill Sharp, Archie McCorvy and old Bill 
Hancock with a cross eye. 

It was the usual thing for hand-loggers living alone to have a squaw to cook, wash and 
run the shack — Squaw Men? Yes, they were squaw men. For $50.00 you could buy a squaw and 
all she would cost was her keep. You could quit her at any time or sell her but the buyer had to 
again pay the father or nearest relation at whatever price he asked. 

"Fishing" with dynamite. 

In addition to those on Burrard Inlet, the Indians did some hand logging up Howe Sound 
and even as far as Sechelt. Moody would supply the tools to the Tyhees who, by virtue of their 
high positions, persuaded the tribe to work and "iscum hi-you chickamen" (get lots of money). To 


curry favor with the Tyhee of Sechelt, Moody showed him how to get fish by throwing a sticl< of 
dynamite with a lighted fuse into the salt-chucl<. Sure enough dead fish came to the surface. 
Moody gave him a charge ready to light. Alone he paddled out in his canoe — lit the fuse. In his 
haste and excitement he threw it in front of him but it fell into the bow. The Indian did not hesitate 
a moment but jumped overboard and swam ashore just as the charge exploded splitting the 
canoe to smithereens. I did not see it, but heard my uncles laughing over the result of Moody's 
way "to curry favors." 

Towed logs to mill. 

"How did they get their logs to the mill?" From Deep Cove Warren DeBeck towed ten full- 
length sticks (1 1 feet) by boat; with the help of one of his brothers and a long rope with a light 
anchor, pulled along the shore until they got into the ebb tide — hugging the shore until they 
passed through the Second Narrows where they run the line out, dropped anchor, and pulled logs 
into the shallow water, out of the current where they could use poles and so land safely. 

When possible to obtain the assistance of the ferry boat or any other, arrangements were 
made beforehand to have the boat pick the boom up at the Second Narrows and tow it to the mill. 

Beaver. Etta White. 

Moody at times would hire the "Beaver" to tow logs from Howe Sound and Sechelt, but it 
was not until later years that he got the "Etta White," Capt. Smith, that the hazard and delay was 

After Grandpa DeBeck's accidental death, the sons lost 400 m. feet of logs they 
attempted to take to the mill by hand power, losing a long cable and two anchors they hired from 
a sailing ship. They went through the First Narrows out to sea — a total loss. 

It was not until 1 922 or 3 — over fifty years — that I went to Deep Cove for MacKay, Barns 
and Horton to drive piles for a cutting up plant of cedar logs for the Jap market. 

There was a substantially built wharf (not extensive) at the head of the cove, deep water, 
and a log dump where a logger by the name of Buck had his boom. Buck told me about his four- 
wheel drive truck and trailer that he used to haul his logs from his camp, which was away up the 
mountain side about three or four miles distant, where his donkey logged and truck loading 
machines were. He did not have any trouble coming down except it was hard on the brakes. 
Going back was what took power hence the four wheel drive — the first used in B.C. so he said. 

I took soundings along the beach about two or three hundred yards up the beach so as to 
have enough water to float the cut logs at all stages of the tide and be able to assort them in 
pockets for size and grade. They were all cut 1 314 ft. long — short ends and chunks were sold to 
the shingle mills. 

There were a few shacks where somebody lived — who I do not know. The crew of four or 
five I employed mostly lived at Dollarton. When I had the drag-saw (on a log float) driven by a 14 
h.p. diesel engine running satisfactorily and crew broken in I left. I have never been to Deep Cove 
since — that's some twenty-five years ago. 

Now you know how it is I know so little of Deep Cove. The place is associated only with 
sad memories of my boyhood days when it was all primeval wild and awesome — dark and dismal. 
It was there the Selalacum dwelt. My grandfather met his death. He was found sitting on a log 
holding his head in his hands, by his son Clarence who had returned after towing a tree they had 
fallen, breaking its top off and running into the water, a stumper they called it. Not a mark, bruise 
or injury of any kind was found on his body. 

My cousin Wm. McDougall, a brother of Mrs. Andrew Haslam, was drowned — found 
among the logs in the boom at the camp. Uncle Warren DeBeck had his leg broken — how I do not 
know. His wife Anne died suddenly. 


No wonder, Major, they left the place. They did not believe in the Selalacum. Nor do I — 
yet as I recall the sorrow and tears that were shed, their losses and hopes shattered I, too, never 
care to return to Deep Cove. Let the Selalacum dwell undisturbed. 

I have complied with your request and from what I have written you personally may get a 
glimmer of what the conditions were like in the early 70's. As for the public of today they prefer 
things more spectacular and exciting — blood and thunder. 

So long Major, 


J. Warren Bell 


December, 1948. 

Major J. S. Matthews, 
City Hall, 

My dear Major: 

You asked me, "What do you know about Salmon-Bellies?" 

I know the word Salmon-Bellies is frowned upon by ladies of culture. At a lacrosse match 
many years ago between the Tecumsahs of Toronto and the New Westminster Salmon-Bellies 
played at New Westminster, a fashionably dressed lady was sitting behind me on the grandstand 
and when she heard the Salmon-Bellies announced as they came on the field, she said, 
addressing no one in particular, "What a vulgar name for a team — simply horrible — could they not 
get a more suitable name — most ridiculous — indecent, etc." At last I turned and told her that the 
team was the choicest picked from the city. The Salmon-belly was the choicest — the best part of 
the fish. That's why they took the name Salmon-Bellies. Of course Salmon-Abdomen might be 
more refined but we are not cultured folk for we were brought up on Salmon-Bellies and love 'em. 
"What rot — perfectly ridiculous" and she ignored me. I guess it is a crude word. 

Getting back to the subject of Salmon-Bellies, I remember how the canneries used to salt 
the bellies when they had a surplus of salmon, and could not use them. They would cut off the 
bellies in one piece from the back and tail leaving the two lower fins which are the richest and 
most tasty part of the fish. The belly looked something like this when flattened out. 

salmoa belly 

item # EarlyVan_v7_018 

The rest of the fish was dumped into the river. What a waste, what a great waste! Yes, it 
was a waste, but there were millions of salmon — millions uncaught would spawn and die. Right or 
wrong that's what was done. 


The Kit resembled a small stave barrel cut in two. After the bellies were scraped and 
washed and a layer of salt put on the bottom of the kit — a Salmon-Bellie was snuggly placed — a 
generous sprinkling of salt on it and another Salmon-Bellie packed carefully — more salt more fish 
until the kit was full. Salt was then packed in any vacancy — top put on, and iron hoops around the 
kit tightened. 

Only bellies, one asks, why not the whole fish? Folk were pernickety those days. 

Willie and Dick McBride (afterwards Sir Richard), whose father was warden of the 
Penitentiary at Sapperton, during their school holidays, worked at Holbrook's Cannery just across 
the road from the Pen's gate. Both boys wanted to earn extra pocket money. They tallied fish 
from the boats as they were unloaded, kept time for Indians and Chinese and such jobs. Dick told 
me the Chinese would have some cans filled with bellies only, mark them so they could tell them 
when they came out to be washed after steaming in the retorts — reserving them for their own use. 
Dick said they were fine and offered to get me some but I never bothered for we always had 
Salmon-Bellies for breakfast at the Brunette Mills' cookhouse, where old Jim Kee, the Chinese 
cook, dished up the same kind of food every day. Oatmeal porridge, Salmon-Bellies with boiled 
potatoes and flap-jacks. I asked him once why did he not have a change. "Allee time same — 
salmon-belly — Siwashie chicken. You no likee Siwashie-chicken? Him hip good." 

The specie of salmon for salting was invariably sock-eye, which is also the best for 
canning as the bones cook softer and require less cooking than the cohoe. 

Spring (also called Chinook and Tyhee) are excellent fish. Pinks or humpback (humpies) 
and dog salmon (now known as "chums,") were not canned in the early days. Dog Salmon, so 
called because they were smoked to feed the dogs. 

White salmon, that looks like the Spring, can be distinguished by its white flesh. We 
never ate it, "cultus" (worthless) the Indians said. An Indian once brought me a 10 or 12 pound 
salmon — price fifty cents. I got suspicious and cut the flesh with my knife. It was white so I 
refused to buy, saying whiteman did not like tee-kope (white) salmon. "Indian no eat 'em — no 
good." I asked him who told him it was no good. "My belly tell me — make plenty sick" he 

The Indian also said that all fish that did not have scales, like the dog salmon were 
inferior. The true Spring is red — there is also a pink Spring as well as the White Spring. I asked 
an Indian how he accounted for the difference. 

He explained that sometimes they got mismated. A white salmon would mate up with a 
red on the spawning grounds, and the result would be a pink or halfbreed Spring — that's how they 
came to have varying shades of color. 

Robert DuNSMUiR. Ladner's Landing. Laidlaw's cannery. 

I was a passenger on the Robert Dunsmuir, Captain William Rogers. We stopped at 
Laidlaw's cannery, Ladner's Landing. Laidlaw hailed the captain and asked if he wanted any 
salmon. "Yes" replied Rogers, "haven't had any for a week." "Plenty here on the wharf just help 
yourself," says Jim Laidlaw. Turning to Captain Spalding, Stipendiary Magistrate of Nanaimo, he 
asked him to pick out some as all salmon looked alike to him. I followed the two down the 
gangplank to where the fish were. "There is a good one" says Spalding, pushing aside a fish with 
his foot. "How do I know? Look how plump it is — look at his belly — see here." Taking his pocket 
knife he cut the side lengthwise exposing the flesh. "See those heavy white streaks of fat 
between red layers. Here is one not so good." Repeating the cutting as on the first, he drew 
attention to the faint lines of white between layers "Very little fat there." 

"What is the best part of the fish" asks Rogers. "The front or head end — the bellie, of 
course, is the choice part," replies Spalding. "How about the tail, it has no small bones, all solid 
fish." Spalding went on by saying the tail was O.K. but is the least desirable. The tail is the 
muscular part of the fish that propels the fish — constant wiggling keeps it lean and strong — no fat, 
see here, cutting tail, "no white, fatty streaks, wholesome enough but not succulent." 


"I've learned something, Captain Spalding, thank you. Hey! Jimmie!" calling his son, who 
was mate. "Here's a half a dozen salmon, put 'em aboard." Turning to me he said, "You help him, 

Jim Laidlaw calls out, "Could you wait a few minutes. Captain, and I'll go to Westminster 
with you." 

"Don't hurry, Jim, take your time; the tide has just started to flood." 

Some twenty years ago I was waiting at Woodward's fish counter. A well-dressed English 
lady was being served by the clerk who held the tail of a salmon in his hand for her inspection. 
She asked to see one that was in the case which he took in his other hand, held both out. "Which 
would you say is the bettah?" inquired the lady. "Both the same, lady, in fact they are off the same 
fish," assured the clerk. "Very well, I'll take either." 

After the lady had gone, I asked him why did he tell the lady that two tails were off the 
same fish — who ever saw a salmon with two tails? "One must be able to size up his customer." 
That story sounds a bit fishy. Major, but it is so — believe it or not. 

Scientists and research have proven how ignorant we were in the past. Piscatorial 
students, with a smug indulgent smile at my primitive ignorance, assure me that white salmon are 
superior to red, they have more vitamin A, B, C, D (and perhaps X, Y, Z) than red salmon. It's 
simply prejudice — if you shut your eyes and ate white salmon you could not tell the difference. 
Dog salmon the same, for they are one of the most delectable of all, having a most exquisite 
flavor of their own. 

"As for salmon bellies — you throw away the best and keep the poorest part from our 
proven scientific point. And another thing" — but I walked away, saying to myself "Where 
ignorance is bliss it is folly to be blistered." 

I'll make a bargain with you. Major. You rustle a salt salmon-belly some day. I'll provide 
potatoes and pick some lambs-quarter //nd/an spinach] ^rom the clearing. First we'll scrape the 
salt off — scrub and wash the salmon — let it soak in cold water over night. Next day par-boil it for a 
few minutes — drain off water, then boil for 15 or 20 minutes. Potatoes should be cooked with 
jackets on. 

We'll sit down to a meal of Siwash chicken. 

So long Major, 

Yours sincerely, 

J. Warren Bell 

[Letter from J. Warren Bell.] 

Vancouver, B.C. 

My dear Major: 

I called on my brother. Ward, at his office in the Hall-Holland Block — B.C. Labor 
Department, this afternoon. He read your recent letters to me so as to know all there was to be 
known re "First white children born in the vicinity of Vancouver." 

He though your idea was a good one, not for our sakes, but for our children and 
children's children. 

His daughter, Olive, had told him you had written her and she has a photo you can keep 
if you wish to; also he will ask her to take the Bell Family Bible and leave it with you so as to have 
a photostat of any information that you may want. 


I might suggest your phoning her and find out about this matter so as to avoid delaying 

Ward handed me his latest bit of poetry, "The Sleeping Beauty." After reading it I told him 
you would be interested in reading it, coming from North Van's first born. 

"Here, send the Mayor this copy with my compliments." 

"Put your initials on it," I requested, and added "I suppose you think she has a special 
interest in you, first white-born on her shore by the sea — but you did not know that you were 
when you wrote it." 

I am sure that you will gladly get any further information from Ward or Mrs. McMahon — 
just phone or write. 

Enclosing "The Sleeping Beauty." 

Yours sincerely, 

J. Warren Bell 

P.S. I had not told Ward about My Memoirs that you compiled. Olive, or he might be interested 
if they visited you. 


The Sleeping Beauty. 

Upthrown from a place primeval 

By the thrust of a giant hand 

With an eagle's nest on its highest crest 

The mighty mountain stands. 

Couch of the sleeping beauty. 
Rock-ribbed, massive and strong. 
By the Lion's Gate where the vessels wait. 
Where the sons of the sea belong. 

Asleep on top of the mountain 

With her face upturned to the skies. 

The rounded breast where the snowflake rests 

And the seal of God on her eyes. 

Asleep, yet guarding the city 
And the people by the sea. 
Calm and serene as in a dream 
She sleeps for eternity. 


A poem by the first white child born on the north shore of Vancouver Harbour. James Allen Ward Bell was 
born at Moodyville, 13 September 1873. 


Conversation over the phone with John Warren Bell, Alcazar Hotel, Vancouver, 
21 January 1949. 

Augusta DeBeck. Howard DeBeck. Sea Island. Richmond. 

Mr. Bell: "Augusta, or 'Gussie,' as we called her, she was my cousin; she was a lovely girl, daughter of 
Howard DeBeck. Grandmother George DeBeck brought her up — at New Westminster. She married Arthur 
Rand, brother to CD. Rand, pioneer of New Westminster and Vancouver. Arthur built her a magnificent 
residence at New Westminster; cost about $65,000, and then 'Gussie' looked after Grandmother. There 
were three Rand brothers, CD. Rand, E.E. Rand, and Arthur. She had several children — one was an 
officer and was killed in the First Great War." 

Conversation over the phone with Miss Helen Rand, 2061 Beach Avenue, who is a 


DeBeck, 21 January 1949. 

Miss Rand: "We know very little of Mother's early life. The officer who was killed in the first Great War was 
my brother Edwin. My sister is Mrs. K.C Macgowan of New Westminster. It is difficult for me to go to the 
City Archives as I go to the office at nine and don't leave until five. But you send me those forms and I will 
fill them in." 

"The FIRST white child born on THESE islands." 

Excerpt from History of Lulu Island by Thomas Kidd, p. 34. 

Howard L. DeBeck came to British Columbia via Panama in August 1867 ... He associated 
himself in business with James Bell, his brother-in-law ... They bought 1200 acres on Sea Island 
from Hugh McRoberts ... And lived in McRoberts' house until he got one built on his own property 
... Everything looked hopeful enough until August 22"*^, 1871, when Mrs. DeBeck died leaving a 
newly-born baby girl, which was the first white child born on these islands. 

Mrs. Margaret Lake, living at 2061 Beach Avenue (phone Pacific 2075) with her sister. Miss Helen Rand, 
is also a daughter. 

First European child born in North Vancouver. 

Alcazar Hotel, 
Dunsmuir Street, 
August 29*, 1949. 

My dear Major: 

Yours of the 27*^, written on the 28* at an early hour, received this a.m. 



I do not know where you got the date "Sept. 8 , 1873" as my brother's birthday. It should 

James Allen Ward Bell 
Moodyville, Burrard Inlet 
Sept. 13*, 1873. 

"Allen" was the family name of the family my grandfather Bell married. She was the 

daughter of Sir Allen, who migrated from Belfast, Ireland, to New Brunswick. So my 

father and Aunt Earl told me. 

Our family bible, in Ward's possession, shows his birth record. 



Mrs. John McMahon, Ward's daughter, 1644 West 49*^, phone KE:1612, may have some 
early photos of her Dad as well as recent ones. No harm in asking her. Mention her Uncle Jack 
for an introduction. 

I do not know of any others who were born at Moodyville, though, of course, there may 
have been. I was only six years old when our family moved to New Westminster on the steamer 
"Ada"in the fall of 1873. 

I imagine you are correct regarding the Lynn family. Cottrell's, I do not known anything 
more than what I have written in my memoirs, but you can wager your last dollar on what I have 
stated about my brother Ward. Whether he was the first white child born at Moodyville, I do not 
know. You figure it out. Major? 

Some day (?) when you have time to go through my memoirs and information given from 
time, and put in some kind of shape so future generations will be able to get a glimmer of what life 
was like from the sixties to 1900. As I wrote once it is all 'higgly-piggly,' like my life has been. 

So long Major 

Best wishes for a good rest, 

J. Warren Bell 

[Letter from J. Warren Bell.] 

Vancouver, B.C. 

Sept. 13'^ 1949. 

Major J. S. Matthews, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

My dear Major: 

Seventy-six years ago today my brother. Ward, was born at Moodyville, so it is fitting that 
I wrote concerning him. 

Yours of yesterday is before me and I note all you say regarding the information received 
from his daughter, Olive, and the family Bible, photo, etc. 

You were right and discreet in not giving Ward a writeup, as I voiced over the phone 
yesterday — neither Ward nor myself care for any publicity, especially through the press. 

You suggest I write more fully about Ward's marriage side of his family. He is more 
capable and better informed regarding his wife's parents than I, as Olive has their old family 
Bible. I can say in all truth and sincerity that Mr. William MacGregor was as fine a man as I ever 
knew, he was one of God's noblemen. I attended his funeral — all were grief-stricken as we 
followed on foot, to the cemetery and in silence paid our last tribute to one we all loved so dearly. 

In my diary of '87, I came across an item. "Monday, Apr. 4**^, Ward has been appointed 
storekeeper." That was his start in life at the age of 13 years and 7 months. About six years after I 
started to work at the Brunette Sawmill and same age, but I had advanced to head sawyer for my 
diary reads "Mar. 31^', 1887, I started on the Big Saws this morning at $75.00 per month." That 
was a good wage in those days. 

What a checked career we both have had — but through life we managed to survive and 
provide for those who were dependent on us. I have been trying to reason out — what is it that 
makes life a success or failure? What keeps a person decent and makes a man hold up his head 
so he can tell any man at any time to go to hell? 


I do not know. Is it the pride one lias for liis ancestors? Remembering tine love and trust 
of his mother? The kindness and help of old friends, such as John Hendry and Wm. MacGregor 
that I have written of in My Memoirs? 

It is all a mystery and beyond my ken. 

I wish you success in what you are doing and am always willing to help out. 

Sincerely yours, 

J. Warren Bell 

Note: James Allen Ward Bell died in September 1951 . 


17 July 1950. 

John Warren Bell, pioneer, born Victoria, 1867, now in 1950 probably the only living person who ever 
made a voyage from Victoria to Vancouver on the historic Hudson's Bay Company's steamer Beaver, 
pioneer tugboat captain, logger, timber cruiser, and author of his own British Columbia Memoirs, 
ejaculated to his friend. Major J. S. Matthews, "Oh, give me a piece of paper." 

John Warren Bell, pioneer. 

My life has been the common lot. 
Gay, love, sorrow; God knows what. 
Now it's time for me to die. 
And I am sorry — God knows why. 

I'll sleep with all the rest of men. 
Perhaps awaken — God knows when. 
In His Presence I'll make my bow 
And apologia — God knows how. 

Jack Bell 

Mr. Bell sat down and, in a few minutes, handed the piece of paper back to Major Matthews. He had 
written the above lines in ink, and signed, "Jack Bell." As an afterthought he wrote in pencil, "The above is 
my status today." It was the 1 7* of July, 1 950, and he is eighty-three years old, but very active for his 
age — as active as most men at seventy. 

It will be noticed that he is bewildered and makes use of the words what, why, when and how. 


Note: John Warren Bell died in March 1951. 



Henry Blair. 

Last survivor of those who signed the petition for the incorporation of the Townsite of Granville as the City 
of Vancouver. 

Footnote to letters from Mr. D.H. Elliott, 1242 Granville Street, to Major J. S. Matthews, 2 February 1948: 
"Henry Blair is still living. He is in the out-patients ward of the hospital, 12* and Heather. He has to have 
help to get out of bed. I go to see him quite often." 

Incorporation of the City of Vancouver. Death of the last survivor, Henry Blair, 
24 March 1949. 


I have the honor to inform you that Mr. Henry Blair, the last survivor of the 125 men of the 
Townsite of Granville, who signed the petition, on a sheet of foolscap, praying the Legislature of 
British Columbia to incorporate the City of Vancouver, died in the Marpole Infirmary last evening, 
24'^ March, 1949, about 8 p.m. 

I have the honor to be, sir. 

Your obedient servant, 

J.S. Matthews 


His Worship the Mayor, 
City Hall, 

First WHITE child born in New Westminster was black. 

Conversation in the City Archives with Mrs. Ruby Bower (sometimes Bauer), who is the daughter of 
Benjamin Springer, pioneer and manager of the Moodyville Sawmill Co., Moodyville, Burrard Inlet; 19 July 

Mrs. Bower had been reading Major Matthews' compilation. Early Births, Vancouver and Vicinity, recently 
bound into book form; had been examining the records of her own family, gave certain information as to 
dates, etc., and then stated: 

Mrs. Bower: (smiling) "The first white boy born in New Westminster was black; he was a darkle boy." 

Major Matthews: Was he a negro, or one of those Hawaiians — Kanakas — the Hudson's Bay Company 
brought up from Honolulu? 

Mrs. Bower: "I don't know" (still smiling.) "But the boy used to say, 'I was the first white boy born here,' 
and they took a hand full of snow and said, 'We'll make you white,' and rubbed it over his face; it was all 
in fun of course. I used to hear them joking about the first white boy in New Westminster being black." 


Mrs. Hugh Boyd. 

Whose husband was the first Reeve of Richmond; whose father was Sergeant William McColl, Royal 
Engineer; whose sister, Helen, was the first May Queen, B.C. 

June 25*, 1946. 

Dear Mrs. Wood: 

This will be a 'dead' secret between us; you won't 'give me away' will you, because it is 
unethical to tell others what is in private letters. 

Yesterday a letter came in from Lord Granville, whose official designation is His 
Excellency the Earl Granville, C.B., Governor of Northern Ireland. In addition he is an Admiral, 
and his Countess is sister to Queen Elizabeth. Well, this is what he says in his own handwriting: 

Portraits in oil. Hugh Boyd. Mrs. Hugh Boyd. 

"Government House, Wed. June 5, 1946. My dear Major Matthews but this 

evening am taking the first opportunity of briefly telling you about Mrs. Boyd whom I saw on 
Monday evening during my official visit to Bangor. She is a wonderful old lady. I realised that as I 
got out of my car and saw her standing bolt upright all by herself on her front doorstep. I almost 
felt like a naughty schoolboy going up to a strict school marm to receive a wigging. She is 92, but 
could pass for 72 any day. Inside the house were two daughters and a granddaughter, and she 
rules them with a rod of iron. The portrait of herself is not at all flattering, in fact the reverse, but I 
should think that of her husband is good. Unfortunately my wife is laid up but is going to have tea 
with the old lady sometime. She had herself made a tea cosy for my wife. I gave her the photo 
you sent me of the Eraser River showing where her farm was. She was rather indignant that her 
old home was pulled down. We chatted some time. She is a grand specimen of what the early 
pioneers were made of." 


Kich moTrd FcTtn. M'=Robert*s Island.. 
The ;pitsb kouseon Sea l3lttnc{.Bt/Vlt.'iTi 1S62 by Hugh Tn'^Robetts. 
^itit settler I86h Recruited bi/ Thomas ta'tvct tdtfJ^, since dgjnolishec^. 
It s tood jusc i-nside dyke about One gTid. ahaff miles west 0^ Eburne. 
Iticted vitth lumbct bf ouqhl: ftom New WestWiTistefby boat QTCg-noE, 
Mad passage -f tout tb^^ea^^•, btto bedtopTas; kitchen in lea-n-tb. Oi-igmaliy 

: n si tf g o Yc h ard pi g-n f: e j^ , an d vihea t c u 1 ti V qI: e£ be.f o tS Scij'.'' ) 8 6Z, 
c;M.5.p>att: (iioacfes) ofoft^mal I3oo acye;g,^ leg&ed. ^occupied by. 

- iTrq.soTT oj^ TkoTtias Igj-nQ. Rt one ti to e owned byClr-f isbophet 

>od. fi'T»t' known a^ "RichirTioid. of "tii'ichmQndl iiew"m lft62. 


"R-tthafd. 'La 

^-'RobcTt Wood . ^_ _,,,.,.„ ,, 

Photo pTeserrted^Et Jan.K^^^i byThonxis lai-nq. RSogTriontt-^Tn 5*1 
^gghTn^Hobefts died. on oTahouh ii^Juty iaa~ City /Archives. ~ 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_019 


[photo annotation:] 

The first house on Sea Island. Built in 1862 by Hugh McRoberts, first settler, 1861. Acquired by Thomas 
Laing 1864, since demolished. It stood just inside dyke about one and a half miles west of Eburne. 
Erected with lumber brought from New Westminster by boat or Canoe. Had passage front to rear; two 
bedrooms; kitchen in lean-to. Originally stove pipe chimney; water from river, firewood from drifting logs. 
Extensive orchard planted, and wheat cultivated before Sept. 1862. In 1945, part (110 acres) of original 
1300 acres, leased & occupied by Richard Laing, son of Thomas Laing. Atone time, owned by 
Christopher & Robert Wood. First known as "Richmond" or "Richmond View" in 1862. 

Photo presented, 21 Jan. 1945, by Thomas Laing, 8809 Montcalm St. Hugh McRoberts died on or about 
14 July 1883. City Archives. 



Remarks of Major J. S. Matthews, V.D., City Archivist, Vancouver, to an assemblage of the citizens of the 
Municipality of Richmond, British Columbia, as he presented, on behalf of Mrs. Mary A. Boyd of 
"Richmond," Bangor, Northern Ireland, two portraits, framed in gilt, of her late husband, Hugh Boyd, first 
Warden or Reeve of Richmond, 1880, and one of herself. 

The ceremony took place in the gymnasium of the Richmond High School, Sea Island, and the portraits 
were received by Reeve R.M. Grauer on the evening of 11 June 1947, and in the presence of a large 
number of councillors, residents and students. 

Major Matthews: 

Mr. Chairman, Reeve Grauer, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I am here tonight as the emissary or messenger of a very dear and very early pioneer lady of Lulu 
Island and Sea Island. She was here before the municipality of Richmond was named and is now 
very old, ninety-three years, and lives far away. At this moment, seven thousand miles away, at 
Bangor in Northern Ireland, she is thinking of you and I feel conscious, as my hope is you will also 
be, that she is standing beside me here on the platform, with her hand on my arm for support and 
looking at you and listening to what I say at her request. So far it is possible she will speak to you, 
through her letters to me, in her own words. 

This is how it started. 

One day in 1944, a lady was looking around the Archives of Richmond and Vancouver, preserved 
in the City Hall. She was a stranger so I went over and spoke. Presently I learned that she was 
from Winnipeg and that her husband, Alexander Boyd, was born on the North Arm, Fraser River. 
To my astonishment, she said her mother-in-law, Mrs. Hugh Boyd, was still hale and hearty in 
Northern Ireland. That started a correspondence with Mrs. Hugh Boyd. 

Mrs. Boyd, once Miss Mary Ann McColl, was the daughter of Sergeant William McColl of the 
Royal Engineers, who came here in April 1859 on the famous ship, Thames City, to establish law 
and order and create government in what had been, since the dawn of time, an unnamed 
wilderness. April 1859 was a mere eight months after the good Queen Victoria had decided that 
the colony should be named British Columbia. 

It was Sergeant McColl who made the first surveys on the shores of Vancouver Harbour in 1863. 
The Thames City, sailing ship, came around the Horn, but I have been unable to ascertain in time 
for this evening if Mrs. Boyd was on the ship. It is pretty certain that she was, and, if so, then with 
John Henry Scales, now living in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, they together are the only living 
survivors of that historic voyage. As a bride in 1873, she came down the Fraser River from New 
Westminster by boat and canoe to her husband's pioneer homestead in the wilds, and on 
September 7*^, 1874, their son, Alexander, husband of the Winnipeg lady, was born, the second 
white child born on these islands. Two of Mrs. Boyd's sisters, Mrs. Appleby of Kelowna and Mrs. 
Grant of New Westminster, were invited to be here this evening. Mrs. Appleby answered it would 
be impossible. I hope Mrs. Grant is here. Pilot Officer Hugh Boyd Gilmore, son of Mr. and Mrs. 
S.H. Gilmore, and brother of Mrs. Thos. Wyle, both of Shell Road, was a student of this high 
school. This gallant airman was reported missing after his twenty-second operational flight — that 
is a high number of flights — August 1^', 1944, and lies buried in France. So long as we have such 
men there is scant fear for Canada. He called on Mrs. Boyd in Ireland shortly before his death. 

Hugh Boyd was the first Warden, as they were then called, or Reeve of Richmond. He was born 
in Northern Ireland in 1842, and as a mere lad of nineteen ventured in to the unknown, via 
Panama, to take part, 1862, in the Cariboo Gold rush. Disappointed, he returned, and in 1863 
helped to cut a trail, now Marine Drive, from the Capital of British Columbia, New Westminster, to 
the sea at the Musqueam Indian Reserve. [Note: via Isthmus of Panama.] 


In 1865 and in 1866, together with Alexander Kilgour, he homesteaded virgin land in the 
wilderness on the south side of Sea Island, later known as "Rosebrook Farm." In an old diary I 
found that in January, 1865, Mr. McKie, Mr. Kilgour and Mr. Boyd went out to hunt in the muskeg 
for elk; only once did he see wolves on Sea Island, and that was when four of them attacked a 
cow, but made off when men approached, but the animal was so injured that it had to be 
destroyed. Strychnine was put in the body, and the next day four dead wolves were found nearby. 
Mr. Boyd was inspector on a slit through the forest known as the "Road to Granville," the first road 
cut from these islands to what is now Kingsway, and the street we know as Fraser Street. 

Best grain in British Empire. 

In 1887 Mr. Boyd won a medal at the great exhibition during the celebrations in London of Queen 
Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The medal is here tonight for you to see, and was for the best wheat 
grown in the British Empire for, at that time, the Canadian prairie had not begun to ship grain in 
quantity; the railway from Montreal to Vancouver was not finished. Remember, the best grain 
grown in the British Empire in 1886 was grown here in Richmond. Mr. Boyd returned to Ireland in 
1 887, where he died in 1 931 , aged eighty-nine. He was six feet tall. 

The petition for the incorporation of these two islands as a municipality was signed by twenty-five 
farmers in 1879. The first election, January 5*, 1880, was held in Mr. and Mrs. Boyd's home. The 
first meeting of the Council took place in the same room a week later. For one whole year Mrs. 
Boyd's dining room was the "municipal hall." The expenditures for the whole year were $488.00 
and the last business conducted in the Boyd home was to order chairs and a table for the new 
Municipal Hall, and pass a hearty vote of thanks to Mrs. Boyd for her hospitality. 


Picture in your mind's eye the scattered few of Lulu Island and Sea Island coming in their boats or 
canoes on a moonlight night. They couldn't spare time in the day and meeting were always held 
on moonlight nights so that the moon would light the way. The "Mudflatters" step ashore at the 
little dock, walk towards the Boyd home; have their slippers in their overcoat pocket; leave their 
muddy boots on the verandah and then, all twenty-five of them, gather in Mrs. Boyd's dining room 
around the table. Presently the question comes up of what the name of the municipality shall be. 
One wants Delta, but is told it cannot be as the name is already adopted by another municipality. 
Then someone suggests one name, another; another suggests something else and they don't 
know what name they want. Then Mrs. Boyd opens the door to the kitchen and comes in with the 
hot scones and the steaming coffee. There have been many meetings and many a time Mrs. 
Boyd has done the same thing. 

Then, the meeting over, they each said good night, going to the end of the small wharf, untied the 
canoes and went back to their homes up or down the river. There were no roads at all on Lulu nor 
Sea Island. 

May I now read to you from Mrs. Boyd's letter of September, 1944: 

"I thank you for your kind letter; also the newspaper. They brought to me many happy 
memories as well as tragic ones. In my early life British Columbia was a wild country; 
especially in my father's time. People cannot imagine what early settlers came through 
when they look around at the beautiful houses and the easy way of travelling. But we had 
no roads; only used the Fraser River in open boats, and having to wait for the tide in our 
favour; its wonderful to me to hear people grumbling at having to walk a few yards. The 
name Richmond was decided on as an honor to me, and for the name of the town I was 
born in Yorkshire, and also for allowing my dining room as Council Chamber until a hall 
was built. My husband was a Justice of the Peace; many times having great difficulty 
deciding the neighbor's troubles. Please don't laugh at my mistakes. I do very little writing 
now and have forgotten how to spell." 

Next, in her letter of January 25*^, 1 945, she says: 


"I thank you for sending me the 'Marpole-Richmond Review.' It gave me great pleasure 
sitting by my fireside to look at the beautiful houses and compare it with the little houses 
we had, and the trouble we had to locate our school in the best place for all the children 
to be able to get to it. Only one lady teacher, and the mighty Fraser River for the road to 
it. Had there been better facilities for schooling I would be in Richmond now, but I 
watched our children going out of sight in their row boat in the waves when a storm 

"But, for all that we had a happy life; plenty of good food and fruit; good neighbors; the 
more we disagreed the better friends we became. If I was only a few years younger I 
would visit my native land; the sight of it on the newspaper makes me homesick." 

As a Christmas gift, 1945, there arrived from Mrs. Boyd two pairs of very fine grey wool socks. 
Please remember these were knitted by a lady well over ninety; finest of stitches and not a stitch 
dropped. I considered socks, knitted by the first Lady of Richmond, too precious to desecrate by 
putting them on my feet — so had a glass case made for them and have brought them for you to 
see, together with the famous grain medal in the same protection. 

Her next letter reads, 4* April, 1946: 

"I was told you would be highly offended if I sent such things as socks to you, but I know 

"Now, I want to tell you I have two very nice oil paintings of my husband and myself done 
by a Mr. Walker. I would like to send them to the Richmond Municipality. Would you 
kindly give me your advice. This is to be a little secret between you and me until we see if 
it comes off. 

"Mary Boyd." 

I then wrote to Admiral Lord Granville, Governor of Northern Ireland, whose countess is sister to 
our good Queen Elizabeth (Consort of George VI), and who lives in Government House, Belfast, 
not far from where Mrs. Boyd lives at Bangor, and asked him if he would accept, on behalf of the 
people of Richmond, the two portraits in oil. He graciously consented and wrote to me all about 
his visit. He said that when he drove up to her home with his staff he saw the old lady standing, 
straight as a ramrod, on her own doorstep waiting for him. He got out of the car and approached 
her, he writes, "feeling very much like a naughty school boy approaching a strict school mistress 
and expecting a wigging." And, mind you, he is an admiral, a governor and an earl. 

Now let us see what Mrs. Boyd has to say: 

"My big day is a thing of the past. It passed off grand, and I enjoyed my little talk with the 
Earl very much. He is a fine, homely gentleman. The countess did not come owing to 
illness. The Earl came with all his official company. Just fancy! eight big policemen at my 
house. They walked through the rooms, I suppose to see all was right. I just wonder how 
anyone could want to harm such a grand man. He told me he had been to British 
Columbia, and that at one time Vancouver was named Granville after his father. I 
presented my eldest daughter and said she has taken care of me for the last sixteen 
years, and the earl said 'she has done her work well.'" 

Her granddaughter, E.M. Buckingham, "Richmond," Bangor, wrote four months ago: 

"My grandma, I am sorry to say, is no better; poor old soul; the body is just tired and worn 
out. She often says that if she were younger she would make a trip out to see you all. 

"Grandma says she has only to close her eyes, and she can see herself standing in a 
room with all the men of the council and being asked what name she would choose. She 
chose 'Richmond' in honour of her birthplace." 

It was a happy choice for it complimented her neighbour, Hugh McRoberts, the first settler on Sea 
island, who had for many years, used it as the name of his adjoining farm. 


It seems that fate was determined that this municipality should be called "Richmond." 

It is said that it would have been "Delta," from the Greek letter D, the shape of the two islands, but 
the municipality of Delta, that is Ladner, which was formed the same year, 1879, got ahead of 

Then there is a Richmond, near Sydney in New South Wales, and that must have been named in 
honor of Richmond in Yorkshire where Mrs. Boyd was born, or after Richmond in Sussex, where 
Captain Vancouver died. In any case, Hugh McRoberts, who was the first settler on Sea Island, 
lived near Richmond, Australia, before he came to British Columbia. The name "Richmond" for 
his farm was used as early as 1 862. So that you can not only claim kinship to Yorkshire, to 
Sussex and Australia, but even to Northern Ireland for Mrs. Boyd's home at Bangor is called 

We now come to her last letter of April 28*. Here it is as I hold it in my hand. 

"If I were a few years younger I would come out and see you all, and you could take me 
to see the wonderful improvements since we left our old farm." 

At the very moment that old lady of ninety-three was penning those lines, there arose in the air 
from her former fields, now the Vancouver Airport, a giant airplane carrying thirty passengers. 
Thirty-eight and one-half hours later it descended from the skies in Auckland, New Zealand, on 
the other side of the world. Such are the wonders of the age through which Mrs. Boyd has lived. 

(Next: Read the deed of gift.) 

(Next: Read the resolution of thanks, March 18*, 1947, to Mrs. Boyd for her gift, passed 
by the Council of Richmond.) 

Reeve Grauer and Councillors and people of Richmond: 

I request your permission to cable, tomorrow morning, to Mrs. Hugh Boyd informing her that her 
gift has been safely delivered into your hands. 

Note: the two portraits are preserved in the City Archives, Vancouver. J.S.M. 

Presentation of portraits, Reeve and Mrs. Hugh Boyd, 23 May 1947. 

21^' June, 1947. 

Dear Mrs. Boyd: 

The scene was your little island in the west; Sea Island, at the mouth of the mighty Fraser 
River. The day was the eve of the great queen's birthday, Victoria, the Good, 23'^'' May, and the 
time exactly sixty years after your dear husband won the medal in London for the best wheat 
grown in the British Empire. 

It was a beautiful evening at the end of a perfect day. The setting sun shone brilliantly, 
and the emerald green trees cast long shadows as cool summer zephyrs gently touched their 
verdant leaves. Off to the side a group of youths were playing football in the field; off to the left, 
Jersey cows were munching grass; high in the sky came a solitary airplane coming to the 
Vancouver Airport, once your old pasture. In the centre of the level land a great building stood 
alone like a pyramid of Egypt in the desert; high, massive, the gymnasium of the Richmond High 
School. A few motor cars came, some stopped, some passed on. And from other directions came 
people — fathers, mothers, sons and daughters of the community — strolling up the long straight 
highway without hurry or haste, just coming to the gymnasium to hear a message from the first 
lady of Richmond in Northern Ireland far away. 

The Reeve of Richmond was there early. Reeve R.M. Grauer; so was the Municipal 
Clerk, Mr. R.C. Palmer, and the members of the Council. But I was first, and had to wait until 
someone came to open the door. Then we carried the portraits, in their boxes, inside and up to 


the platform. The scores of chairs for the audience were not rightly placed so the Reeve and 
Council and Clerk started to move them while I, on the platform, was unpacking the portraits from 
their protecting blankets. Then I placed them on their two easels and covered them from sight 
with two hoods. Soon the great hall began to fill. The choir took their seats; the Reeve and 
Council took their places on the platform. I was invited there too. Mrs. Matthews sat in the front 
row. They hooked up the loud speaker and the recording discs. 

The Reeve spoke first and asked the audience to sing "O CANADA." Then he said 
something else — I forget what — and then the choir, comprised of the maiden daughters of the 
cottage settlers which surround the High School, sang some sacred oratorio under the direction 
of a conductor who needed a shave. But he knew his music, and the singing was very beautiful, 
sweet, wholesome and comforting. Then the Reeve called upon me to speak. 

I spoke for about twenty minutes or more. I tried to tell of early days, and of you, at that 
moment away off afar in Ireland and thinking of us. I told of Mrs. Alex. Boyd, of Winnipeg, coming, 
all unknown, to the City Archives, and how I found out where you lived from her; of the 
correspondence which followed; of the socks which you sent as my Christmas present, and which 
I held up in their case with the medal, for the audience to see; of how you had offered the 
portraits to the metropolitan archives of Richmond and Vancouver; of how Lord Granville had 
called upon you to accept them for us from your hands; of how they had reached Vancouver. I 
read your deed of gift, and also read the Council's letter of thanks. Then, removing the hoods 
which had hidden the portraits from the sight of the audience, I requested the permission of the 
Reeve, Council, Clerk, and People of Richmond to cable you in the morning that the portraits had 
safely reached their destination and that my duty had been performed. 

I had my address more or less prepared in typescript. I do not read my speeches, but in 
this case it was necessary to prepare something which could be handed to the newspapers if 
they asked for it. The two portraits had previously been photographed. We have the negatives 
and can give you all the prints you desire. I handed Reeve Grauer photographs of both; gave 
more to the newspaper reporters and also gave the "Marpole-Richmond Review" a typescript of 
my address which, in their issue of June 1 8*, they print in part but have left out a very great 
deal — they hadn't sufficient space. They left out the wording of the deed of gift. It is my hope that 
what I said will meet with your approval. 

Then the choir sang another fine anthem. Then there was a presentation to a Mrs. 
McMullen, widow of a Pilot Officer killed in England during the war and sent by the people of 
Darlington to be presented to his widow. I don't know where Darlington is, but it seems the pilot's 
airplane was in trouble. He had been shot down or something and his plane was on fire, I think, 
and instead of jumping and saving his own life he stayed with the plane and took it away from 
Darlington and landed it in fields where it could do no harm. The people of Darlington raised a 
large sum of money for the widow on Lulu Island, but she declined it and asked them to use it to 
make two hospital wards, so they sent her an engraved rose bowl of silver instead. I had 
remarked in my address that so long as we have such men as Pilot Officer Hugh Boyd Gilmore 
and Pilot Officer W.S. McMullen there was no fear for Canada. Then, the choir and audience 
sang "O God Our Help in Ages Past," and then later "Abide With Me." Then with "God Save the 
King" we closed and all went home pleasantly tired, and to bed. I'll wager they slept well for their 
minds were at peace. 

In no sense was the ceremony a divine service. It was just that pure wholesome men and 
women preferred the beautiful music of those grand tunes. It was a happy, quiet, placid formality. 
It had a simple pomp; was as orderly in its sequence as a parade. There were no heroics. It was 
the tribute to you from men and women who are close to their God and the soil. 

I left the portraits, and the glass case with the socks and the medal within, with the 
Municipal Clerk; just walked off and left them in his care. It would not have been seemly for me to 
ask to have them back to take to the City Hall. So, what I have heard is that they are now in the 
Municipal Hall and that next week they will be sent to our City Archives, City Hall, Vancouver. I 
did not want it to appear that I feared to trust them. And then, too, it is nice that they have been 


hanging in tine Municipal Hall, Brighouse, Lulu Island. That they would take the greatest care I 
know, because someone told me that Reeve Grauer had said that if any harm came to those two 
pictures there would be "murder" on Lulu Island. 

The next thing I did was write Lord Granville and enclose in the letter two photographs of 
the portraits. I felt that was the proper thing to do. You see, you presented the pictures to Lord 
Granville on our behalf and it seemed proper that I should first report to him that I had carried out 
the responsibility you clothed him with; therefore it was proper he should hear first, so that he 
could report to you that the duty had been performed. Perhaps a little military or naval, but Lord 
Granville is an admiral, and I am a major, both accustomed to what is known as "the chain of 

The "Vancouver Daily Province," largest newspaper in western Canada, published 
illustrations of the portraits on Saturday, June 14*. 

On the platform Reeve Grauer handed me a letter of thanks, dated June 12*^, from the 
Council and himself. I had the letter photostated, and send you herewith the original letter and 
one photostat. I also enclose you some clippings, a copy of the "Marpole-Richmond Review," 
June 18"^, and, under separate cover, two photographs of the oil paintings. 

You will notice at the foot of each painting a white strip on which is writing so tiny that it 
can be read only with the aid of a microscope. The reason is that when people come to the City 
Archives they want to know "Who's that?" and even if we try to tell them, we forget to tell them 
what should be told. We cannot always think of it, so that the best thing to do is to have it all down 
in writing, properly prepared, and then, when a photograph is given away, the story, with all 
particulars, is right on the photograph for them to read, and not make mistakes about. People are 
so careless with their "facts" sometimes. 

I have sent "Marpole-Richmond Review" to Mrs. Appleby in Kelowna, Mrs. Grant in New 
Westminster, Lord Granville in Ireland, Mrs. Alex. Boyd in Winnipeg, and, in addition, have kept a 
small stock of a few extra copies for your records here in case someone in the future asks for 
one. As for your photographs, all they have to do is tell us how many. There is a Mr. Moore — I 
think that's his name — who is interested in such things. 

It is all very extraordinary, very admirable, and leaves me humble and thankful that the 
Almighty has seen fit to select me to be the medium and the servant through whom these things 
have been performed. Sometimes I wonder if it is all true, or am I just dreaming. In the short span 
of a single life, there has arisen out of the wilderness of forest and swamp, like a magic thing, a 
great city; a metropolis and world port of monumental buildings, luxurious offices, beautiful homes 
and green lawns; the happy home of a benevolent and enlightened people. 

My gratitude to you for having made this delightful incident possible is boundless, and, 
with bended knee, I kiss your hand, and will say good luck, good-bye, and good night. 

With my deepest respects. 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 


Mrs. Mary Boyd 


30 Osborne Park, 

Bangor, Co. Down, 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_020 


16 February 1949 - Boyd of Richmond. 

Copy of letter, undated, but received at the City Archives, Vancouver, 7 February 1949, respecting the 
place of birth of some of the children of Hugh and Mary Boyd, pioneers. Sea Island, Municipality of 
Richmond, B.C. The writer, Mrs. E.M. Buckingham, is the granddaughter of Mrs. Hugh Boyd, resides with 
her grandmother, and acts as her devoted nurse. See also photographs of pages from Boyd family bible, 
giving dates of marriage, death, and names and dates of births of all Boyd children. 

30 Osborne Park, 
Bangor, Co. Down. 

Dear Major Matthews, 

I have just received your letter and I have straightway got the information you require, at 
least the best I can do. I am enclosing the Family Register, which I have torn out of the old Family 
Bible. The entries were made by my Grandpa, Hugh Boyd. I am sorry I shall have to ask you to 
return it as it is the only record we have. 

1 . William James Boyd, Born 7* Sept. 1874, New Westminster, in old Mrs. McRobert's 

2. Frances Mary Boyd, Born 28"" Sept. 1875, The old Boyd home on Sea Island. 

3. George Dudley Boyd, Born 27* July, 1878, The old Boyd home on Sea Island. 

4. Joseph (not John) Burrard Boyd, Born 15* Jan., 1880. Joe Mannion's (I am not sure of 
the spelling) Hotel, Burrard Inlet, Vancouver. 

I know the last is really very little help but Grandma cannot remember which side of 
Vancouver. As for names she says it was just Burrard Inlet. I hope this information will help you. 
You certainly set yourself a great task. 

I am sure you must feel lonely, but you must not work too hard. Good people are scarce. 

I believe you had Mrs. Raleigh to see you. She wrote me a few lines telling me all about 
her visit. I have not had time to answer her as yet. 

Grandma has not been too well the past few days. She still suffers greatly with her arm, 
and now and again gets very bad spasms internally. She has gallstones and at her age we can 
do nothing. 

With kindest regards. 

Yours very sincerely, 

E.M. Buckingham. 

Note: Mrs. Hugh Boyd died in Bangor, Northern Ireland, 27 January 1952, at the age of ninety-seven. 


Note: John Henry Scales died in 1948 at the age of ninety-four. 



[Letter from Lord Granville.] 

Royal Crown 

Sat. Nov. 5*1949 
Government House 
Northern Ireland 

Dear Major Matthews 

So glad to get your letter of Oct. 11* the day before yesterday in time to remind me to 
send Mrs. Boyd a telegram tomorrow morning. This is only a line as I have got a filthy cold, the 
first I have had for at least 18 months, and so am going to turn in early for tomorrow morning and 
afternoon ceremonies. [Note: Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 6, in British Isles.] 

How I do agree with your remarks about the British Empire. Our present bad rulers have 
been busy chucking it away, and that disloyal and dishonest Stafford Cripps says Englishmen 
ought to be ashamed of being Englishmen because of our Empire. Decent people are ashamed 
that Cripps is an Englishmen. His word is now worthless. But what can one expect of a crank who 
lives on tomato juice. 

All the best 

Yours sincerely, 


PS. I went into our gallery in the House of Commons for a couple of hours one day to listen to 
the devaluation debate. Winston was sitting bang opposite, feet up on the table and eyes 
shut. That beastly Aneurin Bevan was speaking. Always before he has had to speak 
before Winston and so has had to pull his punches. This time he came after and so let 
himself go. He never said one word about devaluation or the economic crisis. It was 
nothing but invective Hyde Park soap box snob oratory with the socialists roaring 
applause. The scene eventually made me think of an old lion having his afternoon 
slumbers only slightly disturbed by a snarling hyena with a pack of yappy jackals behind 
it. Like all of them it is quite regardless of facts and truth. 


History OF Burnaby. Green, 1947. 

24* February, 1947. 

Dear Mr. Green: 

Our congratulations on your completion of this exhaustive work on the story of the 
Municipality of Burnaby we hasten to send. It has been a long arduous task over a period of many 
years; is the culmination of countless hours of patience, and is a contribution to the achievements 
of historical writers of Burnaby, British Columbia and Canada. 

Our grateful thanks are extended for your gracious and generous presentation of an 
autographed copy. 

The spoken word is a poor medium for the transmission of thought, and the written one 
still poorer. You will have to imagine much which does not appear in the cold type of this letter. 
Your final accomplishment of this stupendous task you set yourself so many years ago gives us 
immeasurable gratification and satisfaction. It is a benefaction not alone to those of the past and 
present, but also to the generations of the future. The people of Burnaby and of British Columbia 
are fortunate in that so able and so persistent an historical worker lives among them. And we of 
Vancouver, so insolubly linked to Burnaby, are no less fortunate. 

On behalf of all those whom I have the honor to serve, and they are many and varied, 
past, present and future, we sent our warmest appreciation and grateful thanks. 

With all good wishes. 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 


George Green, Esq., 


200 South Grosvenor Ave., 


The Vancouver Province, Saturday, 4 June 1955. 


George Green, author of The History of Burnaby, and outstanding authority on B.C. history, died 
Thursday at Shaughnessy Hospital after several months illness. He was 83. 

Mr. Green, whose byline was well-known to Province readers, was president of Vancouver 
Branch of B.C. Historical Association, a director of the Art, Historical and Scientific Association, 
editor of the Vancouver Museum Notes and official Burnaby historian. 

THE NOTED, well-liked historian was officially recognized in 1950 when Burnaby Council 
established George Green Park. Earlier this year he received the golden key to Burnaby. 

The modest cottage at 200 South Grosvenor in North Burnaby was the birthplace of more than 
400 articles. 

It was also here that Mr. Green's History of Burnaby saw the light after 15 years of painstaking 

MR. GREEN WAS BORN at Rippingale, Lincolnshire, and came to Canada as a two-year-old. As 
a young man he worked as an engineer on a steam threshing machine in Saskatchewan, 
invented, built and operated a fence post pile driver, and worked as a house mover, carpenter 
and construction foreman after he came to Vancouver in 1904. In World War One he served in 
Scotland with the Canadian Forestry Corps. 


The Vancouver Province, Wednesday, 8 June 1955. 


Official recognition of tlie part tliat tlie late Burnaby historian George Green, author of the history 
of Burnaby and district, played in the publicizing of Burnaby was placed on the minutes of 
Burnaby Council by Councillor W.P. Philps. 

"I am very glad that I accompanied the reeve and former magistrate George Grant, O.B.E., to 
Shaughnessy Hospital recently when a gold key emblematic of outstanding service to Burnaby 
was presented to Mr. Green by the reeve," said the veteran councillor. 

Councillor Philps moved a wreath be sent to the funeral and as many councillors as possible 

Only other recipients of the gold keys are Queen Elizabeth and Mr. Grant. 

Reeve Charles MacSorley also paid tribute to the services ex-councillor Green had rendered 
Burnaby and called for one minute's silence in recognition of his valued services. 



^l_^/- , . . ^^ 

How to Pronounce "Burrard" 

Burrard Inlet, Btirmrd Street, Burmrd Bridge 

ON Prospect Point in the evening ^low 
Of the sunset's mirrored glory, 
1 srlanced above where an ancient crow 
Was tellinj; a bedtime story. 

Perched on a Trough, this jolly old bird 
Recalled— for a yotmg relation, 
TOiat a hundred years ago he'd heard; 
And seen from his lofty station. 

"June, ninet)' tn^o. Ah, tlien I was young 
As I sat in this tree in the gloaming. 
A queer sort of fish, with fins outflung. 
In from the sea came roaming. 

"I know better now, for the fish was a boat, 
kni the fins were the oars to move her; 
There jumped ashore in a bright blue coat 
A man they called Captain Vancouver. 

"I flew quite near as he spoke to the mate, 
Or, as sailors sav, 'came fiirrard.' 
He'd name the place I heard him state 
For his friend Sir Harry Rurrard. 

"Now, I'm getting old and my hearing's hard. 
So it mav be I'm mistaken. 
But you'd better look out if vou sav Burrard 
Or George from his grave will awaken." 

Circa 1920, 


HERBERT BEK^fAN*, ("trn LtM-i'-;, Kniilanrl, Tamf Tmnada 1J*9S: In 15H1R wji* 
tfer first Municipal dcrk ami A^k^swt. Miinicl paHty of Pnjiit C»rcy, a\ Elnirnc, now Mar- 
wk; a memlirr r>f Christ Thurch. he wan also la foMTidcr of St. AuHiKStbe's CItMrctt at 
Khnrnt, and of Si. Mary's rhurch. Krrri.idaltf. where a EKlaniic crimiiicmnrnt''s hi* ftevotcti 
services. Marrici], I9fH. Miss Elsie Mnchin. dniiKVilrr of Jnme* Edwin Murhin, secnflrl 
lihrRTian^ Vaiicmivcr Fithltc I,ilwary, ami NCrs. Machiii. r>icd ]R AiiruiHh ]9J1. 

The namr "Rurrard" 18, prftT'*''ly pi'onouiHrcd: to rhyme with miiManI nnd ■cLislnrd. 
■JuTnlic-I a»hftrp" ifi v^cUc Ticntitt, ftf Csvpt^in Vaiicflnver \xVt99^ t.y Prospect Pninl, and 
lla.TidFd hurar locn. H.r. 

MajoT Sir Gerafd Burrard. Bart., D.S.O., Willow TjmIhc^ Iltinecrford , Berit*.. Enp 
latid. j*n nffierr E>f the Koyat Artillery, whn lout a \t« at tlie Batile nf the S^mme, l9Ki. i« 
|hr present harcnet. 

f'ily Archives, City Halt, 
S'aiscfiuver, Janijary, 1951. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_021 


[Letters from J.S. Matthews to Sir Gerald Burrard.] 

City Hall 
S'^^Jan. 1948. 

Dear Sir Gerald: 

A thought came to me a moment ago, and I am tapping it down before I forget. In your 
)ec. 12'^ you mention that you we 
or Ovilers. (Battle of the Somme, 1916.) 

letter, Dec. 12*^ you mention that you were wounded in that valley below, to the south of Ovilliers, 

One day, long after the war, I was talking to my old friend Sir Arthur W. Currie, who 
commanded the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was a Victoria, B.C., man and in pre-war 
days was a lieutenant in one volunteer regiment in Victoria while I was a sergeant in a Vancouver 
volunteer regiment. By and bye he got to be captain and I got to be lieutenant. We knew each 
other very well and used to go rifle shooting together. Well, Sir Arthur was talking to me one day 
in the Hotel Vancouver here and telling me about re-visiting the Somme Battlefield. 

He said that at Alber (Albert) the Mayor had taken him for a drive over the old battlefield 
and as they were driving up the Bapaume Road, he said to the Mayor beside him in the motor 

"And where is 0-vil-liers?" 

The Mayor looked puzzled, muttered to himself "0-vil-liers, 0-vil-liers," then scratched his 
head. He didn't know where 0-vil-liers was. 

So, Currie pointed, and said "It used to be over there." 

Then the Mayor's face brightened. He looked relieved and "intelligent," and ejaculated: 

"Oh, ho, ho. Ovia, Ovia." (0-vee-ay.) 

And that's the end of the story. General Sir Arthur W. Currie, G.C.M.G., didn't know how 
to pronounce 0-vil-liers from "a hole in the ground." And, Currie laughed and laughed. 

Best wishes. 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews. 

24'*'Jan. 1948. 

Dear Major Burrard: 

I was putting this sheet in my typewriter — in my attic office at home — two moments ago 
when a call from below by Mrs. Matthews came up the stairs: "Mr. Larsen wants to speak to you." 
I went down, and he said "I got your letter. I've been up at Abbotsford — got back last night." I 
asked "What do you think of it" (my letter.) "Pretty good." Then he told me that he was going to be 
in Vancouver for a week before going back to Victoria, where Mrs. Larsen lives, and wanted to 
come up and see me before going back so that we could discuss "it," (my letter.) We arranged 
that he was to telephone me about 1 1 :30 one morning next week when he could get away, in 
order to give me time to have lunch prepared for him in my office at noon; just lunch for myself 
besides Mr. Larsen on a polished oak table I have in a corner. 

Who do you suppose I have been talking to? Sub-Inspector Henry Larsen, Royal 
Canadian Mounted Police, master of the R.C.M.P. Schooner "St. Roch," now in the ice at 
Herschel Island, North West Passage, the first man in the history of mankind ever to take a ship 
from the Pacific Ocean via the North West Passage to the Atlantic Ocean, 1940-1942; the second 
man to navigate a ship from the Atlantic to the Pacific by the same route, and the only man ever 


to make the return trip, Pacific to Atlantic and bacl<, 1944. Capt. Vancouver came liere for tine 
express purpose of trying to find a water route across Nortli America. We liave a letter at the City 
Hall in his handwriting in which he says that he has proven beyond all possible doubt within the 
limits of his investigation that there is no waterway between the opposite sides of America. 
Hudson, Franklin, scores of sailors lost their lives trying to find the North West Passage. Larsen, 
who has just hung up the telephone, and who honored me by calling me to it at my home, was 
the first from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and the first there and back. (Of course, Amundsen, in the 
"Gjoa," was the first to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific — about 1 906 I think, may be 1 903.) 

[Note: Amundsen made it in 1903-1905 in tlie Gj0a. A.W.] 

So, some day next week (this being Saturday evening) a man whose name must, forever, 
interest the navigators of all nations, will have lunch with me. I hope he behaves himself better 
than he did last time. Last time was June last year and cherry time, and he ate all the cherries on 
the table. At lunch I passed him the plate of cherries; he took one. Then I passed it again and 
suggested he take more; he did, and those disappeared; so I passed it again and by that time the 
plate full was getting smaller, so I set the plate in front of him and he "polished off" the lot. He told 
me that what they miss most in the North is fresh fruit there in the half-twilight all winter, except 
for an hour at noon, and nothing save ice as far as the eye can see. So when he left here on June 
30"^ last I went down with ten pounds of cherries just as they sailed away from the dock. 

At that time he gave me a "chunk" or piece of Australian gumwood, or ironbark, cut from 
the hatchway of the "St. Roch" when they were making repairs. I went to put a metal plate on it, 
such as the one you had made for the telescope, and drew up the inscription and sent it to him to 
approve of. That is what he is speaking of when he says he got my letter and thought it (my draft) 
was "pretty good." At the same time, June 30 last, he gave me a huge lump (it must be 100 
pounds) of pure native copper, which he himself took from the bed of the Coppermine River in the 
Arctic. It is a ragged looking shapeless mass of solid pure metal — copper — and he told me he got 
it just as it is from the bed of the river where there was plenty more like it. What a story could be 
built around that lump of pure copper now in City Hall. The Indians of Canada had copper tools 
before the whiteman came. So, next week. Inspector Larsen and I shall discuss commemorative 
plates, their inscriptions, and I shall undoubtedly ask him if he would like it to be similar to the 
matchless one you designed after composing — one of the finest plates of its kind I have seen. 

[Note: tiiis refers to tine telescope Lord Nelson presented to Captain Harry Burrard. J.S.M.] 

Now, the next thing. The prints arrived. I chose the frames, or rather the moulding. Black 
and gold, about one and one half inches wide. I left the mounts almost exactly as you saw them. 
One was just a little out of proportion so I trimmed it, but the mat on both remains about three 
inches. I had the frames made with double wooden backs and placed thick sheets of white paper 
between the prints and the wood so that there would be less chance of the wood discolouring the 
prints, a very unlikely thing as the wood is bone dry, but to take no chances. Then I sealed all 
cracks with book binding tape so that no dust can get in through the back. The wooden backs 
fitted very neat and tight — there was barely space to get in the edge of a razor blade — still I 
covered it with tape to be sure. The two prints look very nice and I am very proud of them. They 
have been much admired by those who have seen them, but few have. Hardly a soul in 
Vancouver knows we have them — as yet. 

[Note: this refers to two framed engravings, coloured, of Admiral Burrard in action with the French fleet. 

Before putting the prints in their frames I had printed a long strip on which there is a short 
explanatory narrative. The mats have gold stripes, single and double, and one was about half an 
inch apart. The long strip was designed to match the length of the inscription on the prints 
themselves, and fitted in the narrow space between two gold stripes, and thus harmonises with 
the rest of the lettering, etc. I asked the printer to print me 75 of these little stripes, though all I 
wanted was two; it was not much trouble to run off the rest when the type was set. So I now am 
able to enclose you a dozen. The remainder I shall just put away in the "BURRARD" docket for 
use some future day. 


As yet I have said not a word to Mrs. Hamber. She is bacl< from Princess Elizabeth's 
wedding. She was one of the few of Canada who got an invitation to it, and I thinl< the only 
woman who did. I have not told her because, next week, I hope to send both pictures down to the 
photographer to be photographed. THEN, when I can give her a print of both to take back with 
her to her home, I am going to invite her down to tea in my office some afternoon. 

Do not imagine, as you read of my associations with the eminent, that my pocket bulges 
with gold. Sometimes I am myself amazed that so penniless a fidget is honoured by the 
patronage of the great. I have not had my salary for December yet; no funds to pay it, and last 
year I had to dip heavily into my private purse to pay the expenses of the City Archives. However, 
the City Archives is now getting so full that one can hardly squeeze into it; we occupy one whole 
floorofthe City Hall. And THIS IS THE "BEAUTIFUL" PART. In 1938 I, or rather Mrs. Matthews 
and I, made a "Deal" with the City that if they would provide accommodation, we would present 
the city with the collection in our home. They are BOUND BY WRITTEN AGREEMENT, signed by 
Mayor, by order of Council, to provide me with accommodation, so THEY CAN NOT GET ME 
OUT. But, all this will right itself. Next week there is to be a grand review of the whole situation by 
all the "crowned heads." And, from what I heard, there will be a marked increase in our annual 
appropriation in 1948. 

Now, lastly, I smell cooking, and must soon leave for dinner, but before I go I must tell 
you about the robbery. I am in "mortal terror" every moment that a voice will call, "Jimmy! Have 
you been in the pantry?" And, of course, I shall assume an injured pose; deny that so respectable 
a person as I am could be guilty of so despicable an act. The last time it was "Jimmy!" Have you 
been feeding the cats sweet potatoes?" "Oh, no ma'am." (The cats "love" sweet potatoes.) But, 
the trouble with these parcels is that the box is too big or the contents too small, and if a parcel is 
not packed solid it does not travel well. The post office is always complaining about the trouble 
poorly packed parcels give them. So, I had to do something, and I robbed the pantry. If she finds 
out, you'll hear the disturbance in Hungerford. But, I didn't take much; the parcel had to be 
wrapped up, and now it is wrapped up, and it would not have been, and, on Monday I'll take it, 
and my hope there is naught in it distasteful to Lady Burrard. 

[Note: during and following the war, 1939-1945, Major Matthews sent Major Burrard many parcels of 

I have your letter of 16* November. There is nothing requiring an answer. But, what does 
require an answer is the receipt of an illustrated journal about the Princess Elizabeth wedding. 
We heard the whole ceremony in Westminster Abbey here in our dining room (radio) as clearly as 
if we were in the Abbey. Your journal has been put carefully away, in the box which is kept for all 
such illustrated journals; one of the funeral of Queen Victoria; the marriage of our present King 
and Queen; the coronation of King Edward VII; they are all there; scarcely one missing of events 
of that sort. They are very useful at times when people want to know about crowns and things. 

No. Don't forget the portraits, but take time; all will be well. Life becomes to me more 
mysterious as the years pass. I see about me a great city now approaching half a million people, 
and recall the day when a cat could steal across a street junction, with its tail in the air and 
unperturbed, not a soul in sight, picking its way as cats do, where today the surging host waits for 
the traffic signal to turn and then bursts hurriedly across, jostling, hastening — a multitude hurrying 
to the other side before the traffic signal changes. Twelve years ago we had to walk three blocks 
from the street car to the City Hall. Today the busses pass, crowded — standing room only — our 
front entrance, and, last fall, or autumn as you call it, a traffic policeman was, for the first time, 
posted where, on Saturday afternoons about 1900, I used to hunt in the clearing. 

I'm going for an evening walk along the beach with Mrs. Matthews. She hasn't found out 
yet (about the robbery in the pantry.) 

My deep respects to Lady Burrard, and to you. 

Most sincerely, 


J.S. Matthews. 

Major Sir Gerald Burrard, Bart., D.S.O. 
Willow Lodge, 
Hungerford, Berks, 

Admiral Burrard's portrait. 

Major Sir Gerald Burrard, Baronet, D.S.O., of Willow Lodge, Hungerford, Berks, England, in the summer 
of 1952, presented an engraving of Admiral Burrard Neale, engraved about 1820, to the citizens of 
Vancouver as represented by the City Archives. Major Matthews, City Archives, had a polished 
mahogany casket made to contain it, then took both to a meeting of the Mayor and City Council and 
requested that they give formal thanks to Sir Gerald. This they did through the City Clerk. 

The following is a copy of the letter received by the City Clerk from Sir Gerald in reply to the letter of 

Willow Lodge 



3'" Oct. 1 952 

Dear Sir: 

I feel that I must really send you a brief line to try to thank you so very sincerely for your 
charming letter of September 9*. 

The Members of the Council are so very generous in their kind appreciation of these 
small momentoes which I have ventured to offer to their City. In these days there is very little 
chance of any possessions of this sort being retained in the family for more than a generation. 
Death duties, and conditions of life have changed everything, and so I felt it would be nice to 
know that these little momentoes were housed in a permanent home. I owe you and your Council 
a debt for accepting them so generously and so graciously. 

Yours truly, 

Gerald Burrard. 

Note by J.S. Matthews. 

The letter of the City Clerk to Sir Gerald was very badly worded. He was not accustomed to composing 
suitable letters in such circumstances. It read much as a letter to a ratepayer would read, saying that his 
road or sidewalk would be fixed up. And, of course. Sir Gerald has replied in kind. Even the copy sent to 
the City Archives by the City Clerk's Office does not show to whom the letter was addressed, and I doubt 
that it is a correct copy. 

Sir Gerald — when given half a chance — can write an admirable letter. 


Conversation with Mr. William Edward Grant, 2505 Scott Street, one of the few 
(six only so far as is known) who arrived in Vancouver on the first train, 23 May 
1887, and who very kindly called at the city archives this afternoon for a chat, 4 
February 1947. 

(See photo C.V. Can. P. 93 N. 68 of C.P.R. Construction gang, which includes Mr. Grant, at Donald, B.C., 


Mr. Grant: "You see, I started with the Canadian Pacific Railway when I was sixteen — that was in 1878 — 
started at Rat Portage. Well, if you will remember there was a big rock cut right in the city — there is a 
bridge over it now — but I got a job carrying steel for the drillers. I worked at that until I got a little older and 
then I went braking on the freight trains. To cut it short, there is only three or four of us left who saw the 
last spike driven at Craigellachie, November 1885. Then I was on the Crow's Nest Pass Railway from the 
start to the finish — construction; all work on construction until about" [blank.] "That was about the end of 
the railroading with the C.P.R. 

"The C.P.R. took hold of the road in 1882, and I worked on the construction of that, and I worked all 
through the construction in the mountains. I came to the mountains in 1884, and that was how I came to 
be at Craigellachie when Sir Donald A. Smith drove the last spike. 

"He had just finished driving the spike when we arrived. I was on the work train which followed him and 
we were a few moments late for the photographer and I did not get in the photo. There were five 
thousand men working along in the mountains and there was no law and no crime. My youngest brother 
was killed on the 'Crow's Nest' — he was a fireman — so I thought I'd quit." 


Major Matthews: How did you come to be on the first train into Vancouver? 

Mr. Grant: "I boarded the first train at Donald. And then, when we got to Vancouver, I got off. Jonathan 
Rogers was the first off. I got acquainted with him on the train from Donald here. I was practically an 
employee of the company then. The reason I got on the train at Donald was because I had the ambition 
to ride into Vancouver on the first train; 23'^'^ May. After the train stopped, it was only a short distance to 
the head end, so I went up and you can see me in the famous photo marked 'First Train in Vancouver'" 
(C.V. Can. P. 7, N. 5, G.N. 460) "standing on a pile of lumber right beside the word 'GREETS' on the 
smokestack. There is a young lad standing next to me. Old wood burner engines — I'll tell you railroad 
men had to work. It's all automatic today. We had to load up with cordwood about every five miles — on 
the sidings. The engineer and firemen did not load wood; that was not their work. Loading wood was the 
work of the brakesman. That was what we were there for. 

"I had some friends living here — Campbell family. Then I went back on the prairie to my people just east 
of Regina and on the farm for a long, long time. 

"Then, finally, I came west again to Vancouver in 1906, and stopped here ever since. And done pretty 
well. Then I was car repairer for the C.P.R. for eight years" (circa 1908), "and then I had nine years with 
the B.C. Telephone Co., in the office" (janitor) "down in the old brick building on Seymour Street. 
Practically done nothing since. And I was with the B.C. Electric Railway too. Foreman. 

"I got married at Portage La Prairie; married Miss Mary McLaughlin, married at the parson's home — 
Presbyterian. At that time they were building the Dauphin line. I was on that. Then, when we came to 
Vancouver, we went to live on Cordova Street, and on Howe Street, and on 10"^ Avenue, Mount Pleasant. 
We had one son and one daughter. The boy is George. He was in the R.C. Air Force for five years and is 
running one of those big bulldozers now. He's married — he's got one daughter. My daughter. Miss 
Pearl — never got married — is working with the B.C. Telephone Co.; has been with the Telephone 
Company twenty-four years. My wife, Mrs. Grant, died about 22 years ago. Her grave is in Mountain 


Locomotive 374. 

Major Matthews: Mr. Grant, do you know of anyone else who is now living who came on the first train, 
23'^'^ May? I'll tell you why I ask. Old Locomotive 374, which drew the train, is down at Kitsilano Beach with 
a fence around it. The C.P.R. gave it to us last year. It cost them a pile of money to bring it out from 
Montreal, and then the put it in position at the beach and erected a fence around it. Next summer, about 
the Queen's birthday, 24* May, we want to have a celebration down there — big crowd of people, 
speeches, unveil the old engine, start some fun and excitement to interest the people visiting the beach — 
and we want to get together all the old railroad men we can. The old C.P.R. officials are all dead — Fagan 
was the last, last August. We were wondering if there were any passengers and that was why we put that 
item in the Province asking them to report to us. Do you know of anyone besides yourself? 

Mr. Grant: "No, not now. Col. Mallandaine, of Creston, is living. He is the little boy in the Craigellachie 
photo, but he did not come in on the first train into Vancouver." 

(Note: actually, three men and three women passengers still survive.) 

Senator McGeer, Mayor. 

Mayor McGeer came to Vancouver same year as I did — not the first train, but the same year, 1 887." (Mr. 
James McGeer, his father, arrived February 1887.) "Gerry was just a baby then. I was born in 1862 in the 
Maritimes. I'm 85 now, was never sick a day in my life, never been in a hospital, never tasted doctor's 
medicine. I'll tell you, people don't know what it is to live on poor grub; that is, down there around Rat 
Portage. In the summer time we hardly ever got beef — we usually got what was called 'rattlesnake' 
bacon — but in the spring when the berries came out, we practically lived on them. They helped us out. 
This rattlesnake bacon had to do for light and everything. We used to twist it and then set it in that grease 
and put a match to it and it would give us light. 

"You see, there was section 14 and 15 and 16 on the C.P.R. construction; they were the contractors. 
Purcell and Ryan had section 14, Joseph Whitehead had 15, and Danny McDonald and McLaren had 
section 1 6. They brought out a lot of them Cape Bretoners at the time, and the walking boss interviewed 
them. He wanted mechanics. He says: 'Is there any mechanics among you?' 'No,' says one fellow, 'we're 
all McDonalds and McKenzies.' !'!! tell you, in the fall of 1 881 , when we got through what was called 'Flat 
Creek' — they call it 'Oak Lake' today — and we lived in a tent all that winter. We had it banked up with 
timber, boards, and then we would bank it all up with snow, and we had a big heater we kept going night 
and day; one of the warmest places I ever lived in. Then we were west of Regina to Saskatoon. That's 
how Pat Burns got his start. Like a great many more of them he got in with a gang of contractors from 
Montreal, C.P.R., and sold beef. Pat Burns could hardly write his own name. Look where they are now. 
Dan Mann, of McKenzie and Mann, the big railroad men. I knew Dan when he was cutting ties on section 
14, C.P.R. There is a lot of big timber — or was — at a place called Cross Lake. The C.P.R. had a big fill 
there and it took them forty years to fill it. It's all muskeg and they could not get bottom." 

Sir William Van Horne. Benjamin Van Horne. 

"I'll tell you about Van Horne. He had a son called Ben Van Horne. He came out with us on the first 
survey on the 'Crow's Nest.' He was surveyor and came out with five men. The C.P.R. was not sure if 
they would build the 'Crow's Nest,' then they made up their mind to start construction, and they started, 
and Ben Van Horne and some university boys were on the right-of-way location. I've spoken to Sir 
William, but I don't recall anything he said especially. Lieutenant-Governor Bruce of B.C. married Ben 
Van Home's widow. When Bruce came out here first he worked on the survey; and he had a lot of letters, 
so he went over to Sir Thomas Shaughnessy" (C.P.R.) "at Montreal, and Sir Thomas said to Mr. Bruce, 
'Young man, you'll have to start as I did,' and that's how Bruce got on the right-of-way survey." 

Typed as he talked to me by 

J.S. Matthews 

4 February 1947. 

Note: so far as is known in May 1947 — sixty years after — there are six only living passengers who were 
on first train. Mr. Grant still owes the C.P.R. for his fare — evidently the locomotive engineer at Donald, 
B.C. told the young man to "Get Aboard." All C.P.R. officials have passed away. J.S.M. 

Note: so far as is known in June 1955, there is no one living now who was on the first train. J.S.M. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_022 


[photo annotation:] 

Canadian Pacific Railway Station, 1889 or 1890. Tine first one; at tlie foot of Howe St. Tliere were several 
good reasons for locating the terminus at this precise place. To the west and to the east the shore was 
shallow, but here a cliff, one hundred feet high, dropped almost straight down to deep water suitable of 
ocean docks. The location was at the centre of vacant land known as the "C.P.R. Townsite"; to the east 
Granville Townsite was privately owned and built upon. At this place a small gully gave easy access to 
level ground — Cordova St. — above and it was directly in line with Brockton Point where vessels turn, 
towards the shore, and also, the highest crest of the land, Granville street and Georgia street where, upon 
the eminence it was proposed to erect a palatial hotel. The position was ideal. The Squamish Indians 
called it Puckahls, i.e., "white rocks"; to pioneers, the high cliff with its forest towering higher, was known 
as "The Bluff." On the extreme right edge can be seen the top of a narrow plank roadway which sloped 
down to tidewater, and permitted the first scow loads of lumber, to initiate construction on the new 
townsite, to be unloaded. The bridge, on the right, connected with the first wharf, built on wood piles in 
early 1886, by the San Francisco Bridge Co. The location of the small gully determined the position of the 
sloping roadway from shore to level, now Cordova St. above; the adjacent deep water determined the 
position of the first ocean dock; the position of the ocean dock determined the site of the first railway 
station, and the site of the station determined that the principal thoroughfare should be Granville Street. 
This street led directly to the crest or summit of the land where, at the southwest corner of Granville and 
Georgia streets, and commanding a magnificent view of harbour and mountains, the Canadian Pacific 
Railway erected, 1887, their first hotel in Canada, the first Hotel Vancouver. This high area thus became 
a centre of intense activity; crossed and re-crossed each day by tens of thousands of busy people. Deep 
water near the shore was the principal reason, but the little ravine was also a factor in a decision effecting 
millions of people for all time. The building in the centre, our first railway station, was used on 23'^'^ May 
1887, when locomotive 374 drew in the first passenger train from Montreal. An arch of evergreens had 
been erected, across the single track, where the tall white post "RAILWAY CROSSING" stands, and, after 
passing through that symbol of triumph, stopped on a narrow ledge, cut out of the cliff just beyond the 
extreme right on this photograph. The official welcome by the Mayor and Citizens took place on the 
crossing and on the bridge. The road, leading up from the crossing to Cordova street, was planked, and 
hurriedly finished shortly before the famous train arrived. Locomotive 374 burned wood, cut to two foot 
lengths. On the 22"^^ August 1945, No. 374 was presented to the Citizens of Vancouver by the Canadian 
Pacific Railway, placed in the custody of the City Archives, and they put it at Kitsilano Beach park. Our 
first railway station was heated with a coal stove in the middle of the waiting room. The first stone of the 
second station, directly at the foot of Granville St., was placed April 1 9, 1 898. The entire waterfront from 
Columbia street to Bute street was gradually filled in by depositing, in the sea, the earth excavated when 
widening the main line, Vancouver to Barnet and beyond, for double tracks, and the removed of a hill 
south of Pender street to create the local freight yards, an undertaking commenced in 1898, and 
completed after 1904. In May 1939, the locomotive drawing the Royal train with The King and the Queen, 
stopped at this place. The house on the left was the residence of Dr. J.M. Lefevre, M.D., C.P.R. medical 
officer, that in the centre, the residence of H.B. Abbott, Esq., General Superintendent, C.P.R.; that on the 
right was A.G. Ferguson, Esq., of Ferguson Point. The building with the "store" front on the north east 
corner of Howe and Hastings streets, stood, in part on Hastings Street; a carpenter's shop was in the 

The road from the bridge appears, partly concealed, behind the station, leading up to Granville St. on the 
left. The smaller building, on right of flagpole, was Mr. Abbott's stable. 

C.V. Can. P. 28 & 39, G.N. 17 & 153. City Archives. J.S. Matthews. 51. 

What became of the first C.P.R. station. 

Canadian Pacific Railway first station built, foot Howe Street, 1887. 

On 5 November 1948 , the Sun newspaper, page 40, published a story, "VANCOUVER'S FIRST C.P.R. 
STATION still graces its secondary site, 1 Heatley Avenue." And says that a few weeks ago Mr. and 
Mrs. Noel Ross moved out. It says that in 1898 William Alberts, a C.P.R. switchtender, injured in the 
service of the railway, was allowed to live there and remained there until March, 1948. Mrs. Ross, his 
daughter, was born there. 


On 17 October 1953 , Major Matthews, City Archivist, visited the location, which is within a few feet of the 
rails of the C.P.R. line, and on the east side of Heatley Avenue. He found the old site a level of tall grass 
and weeds, unfenced. Mr. G. Morris, the crossing watchman, in a tiny shelter precisely opposite, told him, 
"The C.P.R. tore it down about four years ago. "Mrs. Ross is still living somewhere in Vancouver. 

It is undoubtedly the same building, as the illustration — a photograph in 1948 — is precisely the same as 
the photograph of it when at the foot of Howe Street in 1 887. 

See photo Can. P. 78, N. 52, taken 23 May 1887. 

Canadian Pacific locomotive No. 374. 

Celebration, in Stanley Park Pavilion, and at Kitsilano Beach, 23 May 1947, of the sixtieth anniversary of 
the arrival in Vancouver of the first trans-continental passenger train, Montreal to Vancouver, 23 May 

The banquet, given in honour of the anniversary by the Commissioners of the Parks Board was attended 
by one hundred and seventy-three ladies and gentlemen comprised of pioneers of Vancouver and 
vicinity, and Canadian Pacific Railway officials from as far east as Winnipeg. Mr. R. Rowe Holland, 
chairman. Parks Board, presided. The only speaker was Major J. S. Matthews, City Archivist. 

Major Matthews: 


Montreal to Vancouver!! Ocean to Ocean!! All aboard. Tomorrow Her Majesty the Queen, Victoria 
the Good, will receive as a birthday present in the Golden Jubilee year of her reign, the news that 
the train has reached the sea on the Pacific Coast; that Canada at last is whole; the Atlantic 
linked to the Pacific, and the All Red Route around the world complete. Twenty-third day of May, 
eighteen eighty-seven. 

(lowering his voice) I have a message from Montreal for you. (reads) 

"Nothing would please me more than to be present; and it is my misfortune that 
circumstances deprive me of this privilege. One thinks, naturally, of the many friends who 
have made a valuable contribution to the foundation and development of your great city, 
and who, alas, are no longer with us. In company with others, I shall always recall them 
with deep and abiding admiration and affection. Never do I think of Vancouver without, for 
example, recalling my many visits there with our late dear friend Charlie Cotterell, who 
played a large part in the progress of not only the City, but the entire Province, during the 
thirty years and more of his work and residence there. It is, therefore, most appropriate, 
and I am indeed glad, that Mrs. Cotterell has been invited to participate in the ceremony." 

(ceases to read) 

That message comes to you from Mr. W.M. Neal, the president, Canadian Pacific Railway, 
Montreal, (applause) 

In no other city in the world, Mr. Chairman, could there be such an assemblage as that over 
which you preside; these are the venerable men and women of the van; who led the way into the 
primeval wilderness now, after sixty-one years, a metropolis ten miles wide by five deep. 

Paramount — and above all — must come our gratitude to the Almighty for the abundant blessings 
which are ours. And then, secondly, our appreciation of that great structure, the Canadian Pacific 
Railway, without which Canada — as we know it — would not have been, and our 
acknowledgement of the interest which its gentlemen officials have always shown; and lastly, our 
own Commissioners of the Parks Board, and their keen conception of the fitness of things, and to 
whom one never appeals in vain, had it not been for the astuteness of Mr. Neal, the late Mr. 
Cotterell, and our own Mr. Holland, "374" would have been in the scrap heap, and you would not 
have been sitting in your chairs. 


Do not imagine tliat affairs sucli as tliis pleasurable evening are confined to the narrow walls of 
this Pavilion, for the word of our doings goes wherever the winds blew, and tells the world that 
though the men of Vancouver may be hard headed in business they are not lacking in gentleness 
nor devoid of emotion. 

"In the beginning" commences the first verse of the chapter of Genesis, "the earth was void, and 
the darkness was upon the waters, and God said, 'Let there by light,' and there was light." Then 
man rose out of his nakedness, and placing stone on stone, built the castles of Europe, and the 
pyramids of Egypt towered to the skies. The centuries passed, and the cities of those who had 
built sunk into their own dust of the desert; the earth grew old and the world was full; there was no 
more room. Then a young man with an idea, Columbus, thought that by sailing the other way he 
could reach the same place. He found a new world; two great continents, silent, still and empty, 
hidden beneath a great carpet of green forest, reserved throughout the ages by the Almighty to 
be the new home of the European people, and which, in the interval since, has reached a 
population of two hundred and fifty million; two continents so vast that three hundred years, 1492- 
1792, elapsed after Columbus reached the eastern shore before Captain Vancouver was the first 
to peer into our beautiful harbour on the western shore, a forgotten haven in an old and densely 
populated world. 

Then, ninety years ago, when Mr. Scales who sits among you was a child, men began to clamber 
over the peaks of Jervis Inlet and Howe Sound in the hope of finding some valley which would 
lead them to the level land of Alberta, and men who are not yet seventy were born before it was 
known by which valley the railway should come, and where Vancouver should be. 

A mere sixty years ago, the few of Vancouver, men, women and children gathered on that cliff 
known to them as "The Bluff" at the foot of Howe Street, and eagerly watched the distant curve. 
Their shouts mingled in a joyful chorus, "Here she comes; here she comes," and old 374 stopped, 
and little Miss Annie Sanders slid down the cliff and begged of the trainmen a posy from the 
decorations. Here, Mrs. Ramage, please hold once again in your hands the flowers of that great 

Three weeks ago in Ireland, an old lady sat writing; an old lady of ninety-three. "If I were only a 
few years younger," wrote Mrs. Mary Boyd, who, with her bridegroom, paddled down the Eraser 
River in their canoe to start her pioneer home in the wilds of Sea Island, "I would come out and 
see you all, and you could take me to see the wonderful improvements made since we left our old 
farm." At the very moment as she sat writing, there arose into the air from her old garden, now the 
Vancouver Airport, a giant airplane, and thirty-eight and one-half hours later dropped from the 
skies in Auckland, New Zealand, the first flight from Canada to our sister dominion. 

It is my hope that you will agree, that when God said "Let there be light" that more than sunlight, 
burning oil or electric kilowatts was meant, and that it included the light of courage, vision, energy 
and knowledge through which His people have raised from the darkness of savagery to the 
enlightenment of science. 

And as to the future — have no fear, be reassured; your children, they are your own blood and 
bone. We can trust them. 

Such is an epitome of a story of our race, a chapter in the chronicle of mankind which must, for all 
time, interest the people of all nations. 

J.S. Matthews 

City Archivist 

"The Pavilion" 
Stanley Park 

23 May 1947. 


8 May 1956. 

Mrs. James Nixon, daughter of Kenneth C. Campbell, who worked on construction of C.P.R. 

Mount Pleasant. 29™ Avenue East. Sophia Street. Water from well. 

Mrs. Nixon: "When we moved to our place on Sophia Street, just off 29*^ Avenue E 

my husband dug a twenty-two foot well, and we pulled our water up with a rope. Wonderful water. All our 



Mrs. Nixon: "When we moved to our place on Sophia Street, just off 29*^ Avenue East, Mount Pleasant, 

neighbours got their water from our well, and pulled it up themselves. We had to go to 1 5* Avenue for our 

Cannon shot. 

On 21 September 1954, Mr. George Donovan of 3698 Cambridge Street, Vancouver (and of Donovan 
Ltd., 449 East Hastings, typewriters) called at the City Archives, bringing with him a heavy cannon shot, 
twelve inches long, five inches diameter, slightly rusted, and weighing probably forty pounds. It has 
copper driving bands, and the marks of the grooves (when fired) are cut into the copper. 

Mr. Donovan said: 

"This shot was ploughed up at Ladysmith about 1952, by a man whose name I cannot recall but which I 
will get for you. His little farm is about half a mile north of Ladysmith, above the main road about four 
blocks; he was just ploughing a field. He was just ploughing along, when the plough unearthed it. He took 
it to his basement. I was stopping at the Europe Hotel in Ladysmith, and he gave it to me. 

"Then about a year ago I phoned you and asked if you wanted it, and here it is. 

"The contour level where it was found would be about seventy-five or one hundred feet and distant from 
the sea about half a mile." 

1 6 November 1 948 - The chain gang, Vancouver. 

From the News-Herald, Vancouver, 12 November 1948, article, "When Vancouver was young," by J.K. 

Assistant jailor J/b/?n7Clough returned from flying visit to England ... even the chaingang men 
were glad to see their kindly but strict guardian back ... 

It should be explained that it was the custom of the time to put prisoners to work on public 
buildings, and each day, in charge of a guard, they marched through the streets, all chained 
together, the chains making great clanking noises as the men marched, and people stood on 
street corners to gawk at them. 

The author of the article is quite in error, because: 

1 . It was not the custom of the time to put prisoners to work on public buildings. 

2. They were not marched through the streets. 

3. They were not all chained together, there were no chains. 

4. There were no "great clanking noises as they marched." 

5. People did not stand on street corners to gawk at them. 

The facts. 

The chain gang was composed of short term offenders for minor offences, such as drunk and disorderly, 
sentenced to three, seven or fourteen days, by the Police Magistrate, hard labour, usually loggers, sailors 
accustomed to hard work. "White collar" men, or those not physically strong, were never on the chain 
gang. These strong men climbed up on a farm wagon equipped with cross seats, in rows, and sat down 
facing the two horses drawing the wagon. John Clough, or his successor O'Grady, was on the driver's 
seat. About 8:30 a.m. each morning (but only when the weather was fine), the wagon moved off from the 
Powell Street City Gaol, and, avoiding the principal thoroughfares, was driven very slowly, at a walking 


pace, unhurried, to some remote area on the outskirts of settlement where the City Engineer wanted a 
street or lane in the virgin clearing, formed by "crowning," or some stumps taken out. Their "chains" 
consisted of two ankle cuffs, two links about 18 inches long and a ring, and in addition a stout leather 
waist belt to which the ring was affixed. The links connected the ring to the ankle cuffs. When walking, the 
links were suspended from the waistbelt and ring and the links lay inside each leg, perpendicularly, so 
that it could scarcely be seen as the trousers hid it. When at rest, seated on a log or root of a stump, the 
waist belt was unfastened and the links thrown on the ground, so that no weight of iron whatever was felt 
by the prisoner. There were no chains, and there was no noise of clanking as there was nothing to clank. 

Clough and O'Grady both carried rifles but there is no record of either one ever having used one. O'Grady 
and Clough were very lenient; would allow prisoners to smoke freely once beyond general sight; would 
leave the "gang" to go to a nearby home for water to make hot tea for lunch at noon; gave the gang a rest 
period of 1 to 15 minutes about 1 1 o'clock, and again about 3 p.m. 

No one stood on street corners to gawk at them. Even when necessity compelled the passage of a main 
thoroughfare, the chain gang wagon, with its load of men all seated together, went by so inconspicuously 
as to be scarcely noticed by sidewalk pedestrians, and, even if it was noticed there was little to indicate it 
was not a gang of workmen going to or coming from their work. 

It is unreasonable to suppose that unskilled labourers were put to work on public buildings, as stated, 
because prior to the abolition of the chain gang in 1907, the City of Vancouver hadn't public buildings 
where unskilled labourers could work, and, even if they had, men of the character of the men of the chain 
gang were unsuitable for such work. 

The chain gang was sufficiently useful that it was retained for more than 21 years. Frequently, men 
arrested and sentenced were improperly and scantily clothed when they joined the gang, but were 
properly clothed when they left it. John Clough had seen to that. Mr. Clough was, originally, a member of 
the chain gang himself, but made himself so useful that he was sworn in as city jailor. 

J.S. Matthews 
City Archivist 

City Archives, 


16 November 1948. 

Conversation with F.M. Chaldecott, Esq., pioneer, who came to Vancouver 1 May 
1890, NOW OF 11 74 West HastingsStreet, at the Vancouver Club, on Wednesday 



Mr. Chaldecott, in whose honour Chaldecott Park, Chaldecott Street, and Chaldecott Road, now West 
King Edward Avenue, are named, is now bent with the years, walks in a stooping position, but is very 
alert, and his hand writing very steady, and much more legible than that of many persons half his age. But 
time has taken his vigour physically; he does not rise until noon; visits the Vancouver Club in the 
afternoon; goes home soon, and, as ever, is extremely polite. He sat smoking a cigarette, on and off, until 
at 5 p.m. I was reluctantly compelled, on account of sickness at my home, to leave him. 

Sam Brighouse. Wm. Hailstone. John Morton. D.L. 185. West End. 

Major Matthews: You were solicitor for Mr. Brighouse, weren't you, Mr. Chaldecott? 

Mr. Chaldecott: "Brighouse, Hailstone and Morton owned District Lot 185; that's the 'West End' — west of 
Burrard Street — and they nearly lost it for non-payment of taxes. Of course, the amount of money owed 
was small when compared with sums of today, but if the taxes were only one hundred dollars, and you 
had not got the hundred dollars, the position is no different. So they borrowed money to pay the taxes. 
Charles E. Hope, he's up at Deep Creek Farm, Fort Langley, now, was agent for the Yorkshire Mortgage; 
not Yorkshire Guarantee, which was a different thing altogether, and I was appointed solicitor. The 


Yorkshire Mortgage loaned their money to Morton on the condition that they were to handle the land 

"Well, things improved, and, before long, Brighouse and Morton and Hailstone were able to sell sufficient 
of their lots to pay off the mortgage, but, for a time, it was touch and go as to whether or not they would 
lose the whole thing." 

George Black of Hastings. Suicide of Magee. C.E. Tisdall. 

"George Black's daughter started to drink. She married a chap, I think his name might have been Magee. 
Magee committed suicide in Tisdall's gun store. I was in the store at the time. Magee went and asked 
Tisdall to show him a revolver, so Tisdall got one, explained how it worked, how to put the cartridges in; 
put one in and handed the revolver to Magee to examine. Magee took it. Then suddenly he put the 
muzzle in his mouth and blew his head off. There was a loud bang and Magee dropped. Tisdall 'ducked' 
behind the counter. Presently I saw his pale face gradually rise from below the counter. It was quite an 
experience," said Mr. Chaldecott, with a smile. 

RuDYARD Kipling. Webley. A. St. G. Hamersley. 

Major Matthews: Do you remember Kipling passing through Vancouver? 

Mr. Chaldecott: "Webley and I boarded at the same place. Webley's brother was editor of The Scotsman 
in the British Isles, and wrote his brother that Rudyard Kipling was to pass through Vancouver on his way 
to India, and the brother spoke to me and asked what I thought we ought to do about some sort of 
welcome to Kipling when he arrived here. Kipling was a member of the Inner Bar" (London.) "So was 
Hamersley, the City Solicitor. I was not. I was a member of Lincoln's Inn" (London.) "Webley knew that 
Kipling and Hamersley belonged to the Inner Bar. 

"So I spoke to Hamersley about a welcome. He looked puzzled, waited a moment, and then ejaculated, 
'Kipling!! Kipling!! Who the devil's Kipling? Never heard of the man!'" 

Major Matthews: Kipling was here in 1889. That was before you came. He was here several times — the 
last, I think, in 1907. What year was it? 

Mr. Chaldecott: "Well, it was after the 'Empresses' came." 

Major Matthews: Did they give him a welcome? 

Mr. Chaldecott: "If they did I don't recall it." 

Vancouver Club (of which Mr. Chaldecott is a life member.) Ball room. Rubber floor. 

"Gradually the Club grew and finally the ballroom was built. I asked if it would be possible to have the 
floor built apart from the walls. The contractor said it would. Then I asked if it would be possible to have it 
on rubber supports underneath, so as to relieve the jar when dancing. The contractor said it would. And 
that was how it was built. The floor was on rubber supports, oh, about eight inches square, and about the 
same high, and at eighteen inch or two foot centres — something like that. But it was a wonderful floor to 
dance on — the only one I ever heard of supported on rubber." 

Major Matthews: Is the present ballroom floor in this building built that way? 

Mr. Chaldecott: "No." 

As we had been talking for two hours (though it seemed no more than twenty-five minutes) and as it was 
5 p.m., I rose to go. Mr. Chaldecott accompanied me to the door, and I regretfully concluded a delightful 
visit with one of the few remaining "builders" who helped to lay the "foundation stone" of this great 
metropolis and port — Vancouver. 

J.S. Matthews 

City Archives, 

City Hall, Vancouver, 

19 August 1948. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_023 


[photo annotation:] 

North Arm Bridge, autumn of 1889. Looking nortli from Sea Island. Erected by San Francisco Bridge Co. 
Forest on north bank, North Arm, Fraser River. Part only o^ [blank] showing on extreme right. Stood on 
river bank, now Marpole. Eburne's warehouse (kerosene & fodder) in centre; Bridge Go's lean-to roof 
shed on left. Signs: - "SAN FRANCISCO BRIDGE COMPANY," and "Parties driving faster than a walk 
over this bridge will be prosecuted according to law." Think photo taken by A. Murchie, before or while 
bridge being painted. Man on horseback may be minister. Man in shirt sleeves, Ed. McDade, bridge 
employee. Next man, dark coat, straw hat, Duncan Smith, who lived on Sea Island, at south end of 
bridge. Little girl. Miss Hazel Smith is in arms of Mr. Urquhart, bridge foreman, in 1943, school teacher, 
living with her mother, Mrs. Duncan Smith, 3463 W. 40* , who is beside Hazel. A Mr. Brown is standing on 
rail. Last is Capt. Stewart, who married Samuel McCleery's widow, & of Stewart Island. Below: - man in 
shirt sleeves on timbers, Mr. Sinclair, working for Mr. Smith. "Billy" Williams, bowler hat, bridge 
superintendent for S.F.B. Co. is the last. On mud bank: - Chinese cook; Ed. Smith (no relation), with white 
shirt; & lastly, the bridge painter. High up on bridge, on left, is McBain, carpenter. Photo preserved for 54 
years, (who, with his team of horses on bridge, is hidden by crowd on bridge) by John Bell, pioneer. Sixth 
& Richmond St. Steveston, & by him presented to City Archives, Vancouver. 

The building on extreme right, part only, is the original Methodist Church, afterwards used as dwelling by 
Wm. Oliver, owned by R.E. Clugston. 

C.V. P. Out. 366. N. Out. 115 Eburne's store & P.O. was 100 yard up-river from church. 


Conversation with Mr. R.E. Clugston, of 7687 West Boulevard, and of Clugston 
Hardware Limited, Marpole, 2 December 1950. 

The conversation took place over the phone and resulted from an advertisement published in all 
Vancouver newspapers as part of the election campaign of Mr. Hume, for mayor, on or about 30 
November. It was one of our photos showing the first bridge across the North Arm from the north bank to 
the south bank. 

Photo No. C.V. OUT. N. 115, P. 366, North Arm Bridge. 

Methodist Church, North Arm, at Eburne. 

Mr. Clugston: "There is a mistake in the story which goes under the illustration in the newspaper. It says 
that the building on the right, cut in half by the edge of the photo, is part of Henry Eburne's store. That is 
not right." 

Eburne, B.C., 1889. Marpole, B.C., 1889. 

"Henry Eburne's store was about 100 yards upstream, same side, from that building. I know — I lived in 
that building. It has, originally, been the first church there. 

"I had a blacksmith's shop at Eburne from 1898 to 1912, and I had the Clugston Hardware." 

William Oliver. 

"I bought the old building from William Oliver, ward foreman, in 1 902. Then I rented it to him until 1 907. In 
1907 I got married and I went to live in it. In 1910 I formed a partnership with H.B. Barton, who married 
into the McCleery family. 

"The half-building on the right edge of the photo is the old church — Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of 
England. Everyone used it for a church. The sheds between it and the bridge, on the far bank, are the 
sheds Henry Mole and Mr. McCleery used to put their horses in." 

J.S. Matthews. 


The first coat-of-arms, Vancouver. 

From the Sun, Vancouver, Monday, 23 January 1928: 

TELLS OF THE FIRST CREST. Mr. Hamilton is believed to be the only living member of the first 
City Council. He spends his time in Ontario and Florida. In a letter in the possession of the 
Vancouver Sun, Mr. Hamilton tells of designing the city's original crest. 

In his letter Mr. Hamilton expresses gratification that the neighboring municipalities of Vancouver 
are joining the city. 

"Through all its ups and downs I never let the feeling leave me that ultimately Vancouver would 
rank with the largest cities in Canada, if it did not exceed them all in population and wealth," said 
Mr. Hamilton. "We had a great fight in the early days to get the government of British Columbia to 
agree to make a grant of land adequate on which to build the city which would grow up at the 
terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway on the Pacific Coast. 

"I took the ground in the City Council that we must lay our plans on a generous scale, and so laid 
out and established streets far beyond what seemed necessary for our wants. So I can now 
rejoice that your neighbors are coming into the City, and joining in that progress and prosperity 
which the future holds in store for them. 

"I certainly had vision of the future," continued Mr. Hamilton, "when I blocked out the crest or seal 
of the city with its motto, 'By Sea and Land We Prosper.' 

"Vancouver, with its shipping, its sea borne commerce, its fisheries, its timber, the products of its 
own lands, and the grain from east of the mountains, is surely living up to the motto of the seal," 
affirmed Mr. Hamilton. 

The change of the coat-of-arms was made while Mr. F.T. Neelands was mayor. The original seal 
designed by Mr. Hamilton was used on city by-laws for the last time on 1 6 February 1 903, and the first 
use of the coat-of-arms now appearing was made on 23 February the same year. 

NOTE BY City Archivist. 

On 5 September 1952, Mr. Hugh Graham Christie, retired City Hall official, brought the newspaper 
clipping to the City Archives. It was Mr. Christie who recovered the brass City Seal, disused after 1 903, 
from the debris of the fire which destroyed some of the contents of the City Clerk's office, circa 1920-5. 
Whether Mr. Hamilton's letter was written to the Sun, or borrowed from some correspondent is not known. 
The date of it appears to be Monday, 23 January, and it is calculated as 1 928, though it is not known if 
Mr. Hamilton was in Vancouver in 1928. He was in Vancouver in 1929, and left about the 29 October 
1 929 to return east. 


The seal designed by Mr. Hamilton is preserved in the City Archives. 


■fOuS<yiCHHlBC»"-kt"iiiW pit im««. ^ nlAfiMn t« ti...(k .f .fflWi,ai.J )i»IJtkj ™irs.,«(i^^j^^)ll«(. ti«(i.«>«i« lUtKWtKV. ^■^-^_-^, 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_024 


[drawing annotation:] 


Water Street at Garrall Street. 

Upon this beach one rainy afternoon, 1867, John Deighton, alias "Gassy Jacl<," his Indian wife, a dog, 
and two hens, landed from their canoe, and established "Gastown." The Colony of British Columbia built 
this cottage, first public building on Burrard Inlet, called it "CUSTOMS HOUSE," later, in 1870, surveyed a 
townsite, and named it GRANVILLE. After Confederation, the Province styled it "COURT HOUSE" and 
"JAIL" — two log cells. Here lived Jonathan Miller, only constable, and when VANCOUVER became a city, 
Apr. 6, 1886, this was the sole polling booth in the first election. The dining room, 10' x 14', served as 
"COUNCIL CHAMBER" wherein the first mayor and aldermen took oath of office, and held the inaugural 
meeting, 10* May. Indian name "LUCKLUCKY." 

Presented, in 1 938, to the City Archives, by the artist, Thos. F. Sentell, grandson of F.W. Sentell, building 
of our first (wooden) City Hall, 1886. 

City Archives. 

Bu. N. 112 P. 183 

[Letter from Alice Crakanthorp.] 

Aug. 18, 1946. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

No doubt you have read Mr. McKelvie's article regarding the treatment of prisoners, such 
as tying them to trees, here in the early days. I would be very interested in hearing just where Mr. 
McKelvie got such information. 

As you know, I came to Vancouver or Gastown as it was then called, in April, 1873, at the 
age of nine years, and as the settlement was small, we all knew what went on, and I am sure no 
one else ever heard of such a thing as tying anyone to a tree. 

The men who were our leading citizens, many that I could mention, were men of fine 
character and I know would not for one moment, allow such treatment. There was a proper jail in 
Gastown and Jonathan Miller was the constable. 

It would be interesting to the real pioneers to know where these "Young Pioneers" get 
their information. It is really amazing. 

Yours sincerely 

Alice Crakanthorp. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_025 


[photo annotation:] 

Moodyville, Burrard Inlet, circa 1890. The home of Mrs. John Peabody Patterson, (Emily Susan), first 
nurse on Burrard Inlet, immortalised in poem, the "Heroine of Moodyville." Most northerly cottage on hill. 
Corner of Mr. Randall's house. 8 pigeons. Chinese lantern. L. to R: - Fred Patterson, Mrs. Emily Susan 
Patterson, Willie Williams. Photo presented Sept 1941, by David H. Pierce, son of Capt. E.H. Pierce, and 
Mrs. Pierce, nee "Beckie" Patterson, dau. of Mrs. Patterson and nephew of Mrs. Alice Crakanthorp, nee 
Patterson. In 1941, David and his mother reside at 1240 Park Ave, Alameda, Cal. 

City Archives. Vancouver. 

Conversation with Mrs. Alice Crakanthorp, pioneer, 1873, now the only surviving 
PUPIL IN Vancouver of the first class of the first school, Hastings Sawmill, on the 
SITE OF Vancouver, and with her daughter. Miss Muriel, and with Mrs. Head, 


Archives, 10 May 1948. 

I had sent a taxi to bring them to have tea with me, and after Miss King had very exquisitely arranged 
that, I took them back again to their home in the West End. 

Brighton Hotel. "George Black's." Major Rogers. Hastings House. C.P.R. 
construction. C.P.R. survey. H.M.S. Repulse. Balls and dances. 

Mrs. Crakanthorp: "I remember. The warship came in, the Repulse, and I remember they said she had 
800 men on board. I was amazed; just fancy, four times, perhaps as many as lived in Moodyville. Eight 
hundred!!" (and Mrs. Crakanthorp raised her eyebrows.) "And they gave a ball on the Repulse." 

Major Matthews: Did you go to it? 

Mrs. Crakanthorp: "Oh, no. I was too young. But afterwards I used to go to balls over at Hastings. Major 
Rogers — Rogers Pass — was there; don't know what year but about 1885. I liked Major Rogers. He was a 
nice man. We had a grand time. Major Rogers was old-fashioned; was very particular. He had two 
nephews on the survey party, and wanted to introduce us to them — to his nephews. He wasn't match- 
making, but he wanted things done just exactly right. Hugh Walkem was on the survey party. 

"George Black was dark and tall and light. He was slim and he was a beautiful dancer. He danced 
Scottish dances too. The C.P.R. surveyors were in possession of the whole hotel. "George Black's" was 
next to the water. The Hastings House was across the road, and beyond was the old place Maxie had. 
The ballroom of the Brighton Hotel — "George Black's" — was a great big room. I don't know how many it 
held — how many dancing couples — but several hundred persons I should think. It was a great big room, 
anyway. That was how it appeared to me then and as I recall it now." 


The first European girl born on the west coast of Vancouver Island revisits the 
scene of her birth, stamp's mill, 26 february 1864. 

Mrs. Alice Crakanthorp, age 91, daughter of James Peabody and Emily Susan Patterson, accompanied 
by her daughter. Miss Muriel, visits the City of Alberni as a guest of His Worship the Mayor, B.F. Wright, 
Esq., Aldermen and Citizens, 21 and 22 June 1955. 

2043 Pendrell St. 
Vancouver 5, 
June 23/55. 

Dear Major: 

I am just going to give you a list of events for the two days. 

We left home June 21^' on the eight o'clock ferry (standard time. Princess Nanaimo). 
Arrived in Nanaimo at eleven, daylight saving time. Started immediately for Alberni. Incidentally, 
we had breakfast on the boat. It was a lovely trip over. The drive up to Alberni was wonderful. 
Arrived Alberni, Tidebrook Hotel, at one o'clock. The Hotel is in a beautiful spot — it was a lovely 
home before. Mayor Wright met us. We were shown to our rooms, freshened up a bit & one-thirty 
luncheon, - Mrs. Heads, her daughter Mary, mother, Mr. Wright and myself. A lovely lunch. After 
lunch, we went with Mr. Wright to one of the schools and visited a Mrs. Gill's class. Grade 4. The 
children were sweet — sang and recited for us. Then went to the City Hall. Saw mother's picture 
on the wall. 

Just as we were leaving the Hall, a big load of logs appeared on a truck, to be dumped 
into the canal. We all exclaimed and said could we wait and see them dumped in the water. We 
got out of the car and Mr. Wright called the men over and introduced us. Then came the big thrill 
of seeing the logs go in. From there we took a tour of Port Alberni, seeing all the sights. Arrived 
back at Hotel 3:30, and got ready for the reception at 4:00. It was held in the drawing-room of the 
Hotel. A beautiful tea. Many, many people came — some very old-timers. The press came and 
took several pictures — also Mr. Duncan of the Twin City Times. The last guest left about six. 
From six to seven we sat outside in the beautiful garden and Mr. Wright and mother had a good 
chat. At seven Mr. Duncan arrived to have dinner with us, after which we were taken through the 
plywood plant. It was most interesting — took us two hours to see the whole process. Mr. Ted 
Stroyan arranged that tour for us. Then home. A cup of tea and cookies were brought to us. Mr. 
and Mrs. Robinson, who manage the Hotel, couldn't have been kinder. 

Wed., the 22"^ Mr. Wright had to go to Duncan, [B.C.] so Mrs. Duncan took us out. We 
went to Sproat Lake and took some pictures. It was beautiful there. From there we visited a 
beautiful farm, the McCoy Lake Farm, owned and managed by a Mrs. Thomson. 

Back to the Hotel for lunch, where a friend of ours met us for lunch. We left, very 
reluctantly, about 3:30. On the drive down we stopped at Englishman's river and saw the 
wonderful falls. Arrived at Nanaimo at six, had a bite and drove out to Yellow Point for an hour. 
Back to Nanaimo in time to catch the nine o'clock ferry home — a nice trip home. We knew we 
were in Vancouver as it was pouring rain. 

Mother has had the thrill of her life. If we had been Royalty we couldn't have been treated 
better; everyone so friendly and kind. Mr. Wright overlooked nothing. We hope to go back again. 
Even the weather was perfect. 

This is a scrawl Major, but I, and not my mother, am tired out. However, I know all you 
want is a resume of our trip. 

With kindest regards from us both. 


Muriel Crakanthorp 


Conversation with Mr. Donald Cramer, 1507 West 12™ Avenue, formerly 
PRESIDENT, Vancouver Canadian Club, 1911-1912 (one year), 20 August 1946. 

Vancouver Stock Exchange. 

Mr. Cramer: "In, I think it was 1 907, tliere was no excliange, no place wliere a person wlio wislied to sell 
bonds, stocks or shares could dispose of them. For instance, supposing a person had some shares in the 
B.C. Electric Railway Co. — and they are Vancouver concern — there was no medium through which he 
could dispose of them except by canvassing his friends and acquaintances and seeing if one of them was 
willing to purchase them, and then, on the other hand, if a person wished to invest money in B.C. Electric 
shares, there was no place he could go where they could be purchased. He, too, had to hunt around and 
see if he could find a person who had shares, and if they were willing to part with them. 

"Again, there was no means by which the price of the shares could be ascertained. Of course, one could 
go to a banker, but he was of no great help, unless, perchance, he happened to know of someone 
wishing to sell his shares, and might give some sort of an opinion as to their value. There was nothing 

"And, of course, the situation was very much more difficult if it happened to be shares not too well known 
as a big company like the B.C. Electric; or Eastern Canadian, or foreign shares. The position was a 

Major Matthews: Why hadn't something been done about it sooner? 

John Kendall. Macdonald, Marpole and Co. 

Mr. Cramer: "John Kendall, he was a chartered accountant, and he was also the City Auditor, he joined 
with me in the promotion of some system which would remove the chaos. I had an office at 410 Seymour 
Street. It was in the old original Bank of Montreal building; Macdonald Marpole, the coal merchants, had 
the corner downstairs, Hastings and Seymour. I was in the general brokerage and insurance business, 
alone. So John Kendall and I talked it over, and decided the proper thing to do was to apply for a charter 
from the Provincial Government, and we called upon dozens of people intermittently. There were, for 
instance, CD. Rand, Waghorne Gwynn — they were both brokerage firms — and C.J. Loewen, H.J. 
Thome, John S. Rankin, and a number of others. You have all the names — you can look them up. As a 
result, we appointed a committee to interview the Attorney General of the day, and we took a trip to 
Victoria to see him. In the party which went, there was Waghorne, Rand, Kendall, E.W. McLean and 
myself, and there may have been others whose names I do not recall. We received a very cordial 
reception, and it was agreed that if an application was made to the Government that a private act would 
be passed, and when it was, it passed and was made law, and the Vancouver Stock Exchange was 

"So, we set offices in the northeast corner of Hornby and Pender streets in a little old building which had 
been there for a number of years. I forget who was appointed secretary, but it was a distinct Vancouver 
Stock Exchange Office, exclusively devoted to that pursuit, and not used for anything else. It was about 
twelve feet by twenty-five feet; there were a few humble chairs for the members. There was a blackboard 
about six by ten on the wall, and the quotations were marked there during the session which usually 
started at 10:00 a.m., and continued until noon. The attendance, as a rule, was good. That is, there would 
be from ten to twenty persons present. The public came in and watched, would give their orders. We 
stayed there, perhaps, twelve months, more or less. 

"After that we moved, I think it was to a place on Homer or Richards Street, I am almost sure it was 
Homer Street, below Hastings Street. Then the next move was down Hastings Street, next to the old 
Province building, south side, where Mr. McLean built a building, and had the ground floor set apart for 
the Vancouver Stock Exchange, which was very well equipped and very convenient for its purpose. After 
that I sold my seat to H.M. Daly. I didn't get very much for it. I am not a stockbroker, and used to pass 
what came my way out to someone else. Then, later, the stock-broking business developed very rapidly 
until it became very extensive. In 1929 and thereabouts it developed into a deluge, and finally culminated 
in the building, the present Vancouver Stock Exchange Building on Howe and Pender." 


"Crazy George." 

Capt. Charles Warren Gates, of C.H. Gates and Sons, pioneer tug boat owners, North Vancouver, was in 
the City Archives last week. He told me: 

"'Crazy George' used to do odd jobs for Mother, and Mother told me that one day he was sweeping out 
the kitchen with a corn broom when he gave the broom an extra strong flick, as though hurling something, 
off or near the floor, through the door. Mother told me she said to him, 'What are you doing that for?' He 
replied, 'Did you see it? It was one of those devils. Funny you didn't see it.' Mother protested she had 
seen nothing, to which 'Crazy George' answered, 'That's queer — it was there all right; one of those 

"Then Mother said 'Crazy George' went on, 'You know,' he said, 'I wasn't always like this.' And," remarked 
Capt. Cates, "I imagine that was about the sanest thing he ever said. They say he had some trouble with 
some woman; may have been his wife ran off with some other man or something — it was something like 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_026 


[photo annotation:] 

Part of Milking Herd 

Jos Jones 

Westminster Road 

Vancouver B.C. 


Josepli Jones, mill< rancli, Westminster Road, 1896. Tliis is tine bacl< portion; liis home was on tlie nortli 
east corner of Westminster Road, now Kingsway and Windsor Street. Tliis barn, with cedar shake roof, 
was in the north, behind his home facing Westminster Road, (see companion photo). He had fifty eight 
cows, producing 110 gallons, average, per day. In the trees, on the left, was a stream in a hollow; it 
provided water for household and farm. On Westminster Road, nearby, it was crossed by a narrow 
wooden bridge. Approximately the forest is now the site of Charles Dickens School, Block 81 , and, on the 
right, Sunnyside Park, bounded by 17* and 18*^ Aves, Glen Drive and Inverness St. Westminster Road, 
now Kingsway, was a slit in the forest. Wild animals, such as bear, cougar, deer were not numerous. 
Photo by Devine, 1896. 

Photo presented, 12 Apr. 1951, by Reuben Hamilton, 836 East 20* Ave, who has resided in D.L. 301 for 
over 60 years; son of William Hamilton, pioneer, and School Trustee — as was Joseph Jones — D.L. 301 

City Archives. J.S.M. 

Three creeks of the forest, now Vancouver. 

(This would make an interesting compilation if I had time to complete it. JSM. 1953.) 

Creeks which crossed Kingsway. 

Penrose Cabins, 

Gunn Lake, Goldbridge, B.C. 

June 11*, 1953. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

I want to write about the six creeks that crossed the old Westminster Road (Kingsway) on 
the way to New Westminster. 

No. 1 Creek. Beavers. Beaver Dam in Mount Pleasant. Water for Hastings Sawmill, 

[No. 1 Creek] Began in South Vancouver where the water either flowed into the Fraser 
River, or found its way into False Creek. This creek passed through the uncleared part of 
Mountain View Cemetery, and drained a part of the Fraser [Avenue] swamp, and somewhere 
about or between 14* and 15* Avenues, between Prince Edward and Sophia street, was a large 
dam, or the first dam the Hastings Sawmill men made to get water. If this was a beaver dam, then 
it was the only beaver dam that I have ever seen throughout the entire district, including Trout 

(Note: Mr. Hamilton errs. Beaver were in Trout Lake and at Mount Pleasant.) 


I remember seeing signs of beaver, but never saw any. However, there were lots of 
muskrats. This creek crossed Westminster Road on an angle between 9* and 8* Avenue. It left 
behind, in places, very deep ravines. It passed within a few feet of Trimble & Sons' butcher shop, 
and ran the old water wheel for Doering and Marstrand Brewery, and was called "BREWERY 
CREEK." This was the only creek we, as boys, caught the eels to my memory. 


Jones Creek. Creek No. 2. False Creek Dairy. China Creek. Chinese piggeries. Maddams 
Ranch. Glen Park. 

Creek No. 2 also drained the Fraser street swamp, the upper part was called JONES 
CREEK. Where it crossed the Westminster Road were two milk ranches. Samuel Garvin, called 
"FALSE CREEK DAIRY," with Dairy License No. 1 , and JOSEPH JONES. This was a good trout 
stream, and plenty of dog salmon came up in the Fall. It passed through or near the old Maddams 
Ranch, and here it was called CHINA CREEK, after the Chinese pig ranches. This creek drained 
the low land, what is known today as GLEN PARK. These grounds were used, for a number of 
years, as Chinese pig ranches and vegetable gardens. I remember when it was in its natural 
state, about the corner of Windsor street, and along 21^'. A large ditch was dug to drain the 
Fraser Swamp. 

Creek No. 3. Gibson Creek. Cedar Cottage Nursery. Benson's Brewery. 

The source of this creek began somewhere about 33'^'' Avenue, between Knight Road 
and Thynne Road, and flowed through Arthur Wilson's thirty-five acres of Cedar Cottage Nursery. 
At the corner of Westminster Road and Knight Road, on the bank of this creek, is where George 
Raywood build his brewery about the year 1 900, and later it was known as BENSON'S 
BREWERY. The creek flowed across Kingsway at an angle, and just touched the border of old 
D.L. 301, and across 20'^ and through the GIBSON property of about 17 acres. We called it 

Creek No. 4. Davy Creek. 

This creek was a branch of the GIBSON CREEK, and we called it the DAVY CREEK. It 
crossed Westminster Road near Commercial street. Now I think all those creeks — the Jones, the 
Gibson and Davy — ^joined the China Creek near its mouth before it flowed into False Creek. 

Creek No. 5. Gladstone Creek. Gladstone Inn. 

This was a small creek just beyond the old GLADSTONE INN, and it flowed into Trout 

Creek No. 6. Collingwood Creek. Boundary Road Creek. Still Creek. 

This was a larger creek and was called either Collingwood or Boundary Road Creek and 
flowed into STILL CREEK. 

These are the six creeks which I remember, and I don't think there were any more the 
rest of the way to New Westminster. I do not know if there is a record of all these six creeks, but it 


Rueben Hamilton. 


Creeks of the forest. 

"Walk your horses across the bridge." 

Penrose Cabins, 
Gunn Lal<e, 
Goldbridge, B.C. 
Julys''', 1953. 

Major Matthews: 


Thanks very much for your interesting letter about STREAMS OF THE FOREST. 

If a story was written about these creeks, it would not be complete without the use of a 
few historical words taken from the old signs which were connected with "Creeks of The Forest." 
Words, unknown to many, forgotten by most, remembered by the few. Even in these modern 
times, the principle of the words remains the same, are still used. When an army is crossing a 
bridge, they get the order "Break Step." 

Today, the forest which was once Vancouver, the creeks, the bridges and the horses are 
gone, and in their place long miles of modern smooth paved highway, bright light and neon signs. 
Many never give thought to that past day when the sons of our early pioneers, wearing knee 
pants, stood on the banks of our many creeks, with a long pole and large hook, jigging the 
salmon and catching the trout. In the marshes and swamps were wild ducks unlimited, and the 
dead ones could be seen hanging in the butcher shops — for sale. I knew hunters who used to 
shoot ducks for the market. I can remember the hardy men who lived near the banks of the 
creeks, with their great crop of whiskers and their careless attire. Long years of hardship and toil 
had wracked joints and etched lines of character in their faces, and, with the use of the faithful old 
horse, are the founders of our great city. 

The few words of one familiar old sign were: "Walk your horses across the bridge" and 
another was "Keep to the left." 


Rueben Hamilton. 

Early Vancouver, Matthews, Volumes 1-6. 

There is a deal of information in these six volumes about Vancouver creeks. 

There must have been in all 30 to 40 creeks within the boundaries of the City of Vancouver; that is, west 
of the Municipality of Burnaby, i.e., west of Boundary Road. 



Croquet before golf. 

What did we do in Vancouver before golf? 

We played croquet. At least, those who were a little too rotund for tennis; tennis was a little too strenuous 
for some of those no longer eager to jump around. There were no golf links. And, further, few knew 
anything of the game of golf; most had never heard of it. So we played croquet which, in a way, is much 
the same as putting. 

Shaughnessy was still forest. The "West End" was the fashionable residential district, and the socially 
eminent had good lawns and they played croquet. 


Then, once a year, there was a croquet tournament. It was very fashionable. All the "swells" attended, as 
much for the afternoon tea and gossip as for the games. Sunshades, very pretty, very expensive, were 
carried by the ladies and the gentlemen wore "boater" straw hats and flannel — white flannel — trousers. 
The tournament went on for three or four days, mostly in the afternoons. It was very grand. 

But, in time, golf came and croquet dwindled. In this year of 1 951 I do not know of a croquet lawn in 
Vancouver, though I feel sure someone has one somewhere. I do not believe there is a croquet club. 
They keep very quiet if there is. I never see anything about croquet in the newspapers. It seems to be a 
forgotten game. 

Not so in 1900 and soon after. It was exceptionally fashionable for the elite "West Enders." I repeat, the 
"West End" — there was nowhere else. Not even Kitsilano Hill, started in 1905, was settled up then. 
Kitsilano was not even named until 1905. Grandview was a clearing; so was Fairview. 

I think the only croquet lawn in Fairview was that of Capt. C. Gardner Johnson at the northeast corner of 
Alder and Broadway. 

J.S. Matthews. 

17 August 1951. 

Miss Esther J. Cummings (Miss Georgia Sweney's daughter), of Santa Paula, 
California, 3 May 1947. 

Miss Esther J. Cummings, daughter of Miss Georgia Sweney, the first school teacher on the site of the 
City of Vancouver (Hastings Sawmill School), having informed me by letter and telegraph that she would 
arrive in Vancouver on Thursday, 24 April 1 947 from Seattle, Washington, for a six days visit to the scene 
of her late mother's labours, I arranged with Mr. M.H. Burns, manager Hotel Vancouver, to have a room 
ready for her as accommodation is restricted. I also arranged for an invitation to an executive committee 
"tea" of the Vancouver Woman's Canadian Club following their annual meeting on the 25*, and also for 
the Chief Factor, Native Daughters of B.C., Post No. 2, to show Miss Cummings over the old Hastings 
Sawmill store. Alma Road, now a club-museum, which her mother must have visited many times while 
she was at Hastings Sawmill 85 or more years ago. Also, she was taken for a drive around Stanley Park, 
and my own dear wife gave a tea in the Georgian Club. Miss Cummings did a lot of shopping at the 
Hudson's Bay Co. store and paid us two visits to the City Archives; so that all in all she must have had a 
busy and pleasant time. In addition, the weather was bright — no rain and tolerably warm. It is felt that she 
went away from Vancouver with pleasant recollections of her visit. 

And, somewhat strangely, so out-of-the-picture in such matters is the Mayor and the Mayor's Office, that 
she did not even call upon them and I doubt if they know she has been, which illustrates the usefulness of 
the City Archives if they bestir themselves with endeavours to make the visits of historic personages 

Miss Cummings is an American lady of prepossessing appearance; tall, somewhat inclined to be heavily 
built; good looking, greying hair, very well and fashionably dressed, and an extremely good 
conversationalist. She does not take a great deal of interest in public affairs in her native land, but being 
affluent spends much of her time in the larger cities. She has just completed a tour of the eastern 
American States, during which she met Sir John Balfour, the new British Ambassador. She tells me that 
she had not seen her walnut ranch at Santa Paula since October last — save for seven days short visit. 
She did not know the acreage of her fruit ranch, was a little confused when I asked the acreage and 
replied that they did not count that way, but by the number of boxes of fruit grown each year. She did, 
however, say that they had (or rather she had) two thousand walnut trees beside many oranges in the 
grove. I made a hurried mental estimate of how much in dollars two thousand walnut trees would be at 
walnuts selling, retail, in Canada at sixty cents per pound. Miss Cummings said that she had twenty-five 
men working on her fruit ranch at Santa Paula, California. 

My assistant brought forth the Sweney relics Miss Cummings had sent us; also the miniature of her 
mother in its tiny frame. Miss Cummings said the earrings in their plush case had originally been 
purchased in Persia when her father was there in a sailing ship. This accounts for the ornamentation in 


star and crescent (Mohammedan). That when she was seventeen — on her 17* birthday — they were given 
to her, and that was the means of their escaping destruction when their home at Santa Paula was burned 
to the ground some years ago. She said her mother had a "whole box" full of jewellery which her father 
had given her mother. "Nothing, absolutely nothing," she said, had been saved. They lost everything 
historical, and such small things as her mother's hymnal (which we have) was saved because it had been 
given to her late brother. 

The most interesting historical remark Miss Cummings made was when she told how her mother left 
British Columbia never to come back. It appears she was on a visit to friends in Victoria, and it was so 
chanced that at the time a lady friend from California was also visiting. During the daily conversations this 
lady spoke in the most glowing terms of the beauty of California, of the magnificence of the orange 
blossoms when the orange trees were blooming, and so on, with the result that Miss Sweney said she 
had a great desire to see it — as naturally she would after a sojourn on the shores of Burrard Inlet at the 
rather drab Hastings Sawmill clearing. The lady replied, "Why not come back with me!" Miss Cummings 
eagerly accepted the invitation and when the lady went back on the steamer went with her and stayed at 
the lady's home as a visitor. 

There she met Mr. Cummings, who was a cousin of the lady who had invited her, and in course of time 
Miss Georgia became Mrs. Cummings. And that is the end of that story. 

Mrs. Cummings, nee Miss Georgia Sweney, never revisited Burrard Inlet. Some few years ago she was 
preparing for a visit when she fell and broke her wrist and the doctor would not let her come. 

Miss Cummings added, significantly: "I don't suppose Mother ever realised the part she had played in the 
establishment of schools in Vancouver. And," she continued, "I did not think much of it myself until my last 
visit when I thought, on the spur of the moment, that I would pay my respects to the School Board Office 
here and tell them who I was. There I accidentally met a gentleman who said that I should visit the City 
Hall and the City Archives, and you know the rest." She called upon us. 

Miss Cummings said her mother was very musical and used to tell her children how she had tried to teach 
the Indians of Hastings Sawmill music. "Mother," said she, "told us they could not 'hold a tune,' and used 
to mimic them — not in a disparaging way — but to illustrate her difficulties in trying to each the Indian 
children at the Sawmill to understand singing and music." 

The Cummings Ranch at Santa Paula, California, is forty miles south of Santa Barbara, and sixty miles 
north of [blank.] 

On Monday, 28 April, Miss Cummings called at the City Archives and had tea with me. On Tuesday she 
went to Victoria; on Wednesday (30* ) she called again, said goodbye, and left for the south by the Great 
Northern train. 

Miss Cummings told me that when she arrived at the Hotel Vancouver on 24 April she went to her room 
and found it "a bower of flowers." (We had taken care that it should be.) She immediately got into a motor 
car and called on Mrs. Matthews at my home, and brought a great bouquet of red and white carnations to 
my wife. 

I think that is about all concerning the visit of this very charming lady to Vancouver. 

J.S. Matthews 

3 May 1947. 


Arthur Currie at the Flower Show, Drill Hall, Victoria, circa 1910. 

Dear Hazel: 

Nov. 17'^ 1953. 

A letter from an old friend of the 5*^ Regiment, Canadian Garrison Artillery, Victoria, has 
reminded me of a little tale which I have never told and, in order to make a record of it, I am 
writing this to you, and making some carbon copies. 

Years ago General Sir Arthur Currie, Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Expeditionary 
Force in the First War, 1914-1918, was Major Currie, of the 5* Regiment, mentioned above, in 
Victoria. I was Captain Matthews, of the 6*^ Regiment, "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles," 
Vancouver, and was in Victoria on a business trip. One evening Major Currie and I met in the new 
Empress Hotel lounge and sat down to chat. Major Currie, asking what we should do, and as I 
replied that I had nothing in mind, said, "Let's go down to the Flower Show in the Drill Hall." So we 
walked over — two or three blocks. 

The whole of the great wide floor space within the Drill Hall was a huge mass of beautiful 
blooms of every kind. They were arranged on long tables — the length of the Drill Hall — with 
aisles, between which ladies in evening gowns, some slightly decollete and with sparkling jewelry, 
looking as beautiful as the flowers, were strolling, some with, some without gentlemen 
companions. The conversation between Major Currie and myself continued something like this: 

Matthews: "What are all these men doing with their hats on at an occasion like this? 

Currie: "Does not look quite right, does it?" 

Matthews: "Lets make them take them off?" 

Currie: " How?" 

Matthews: "Look." (removing my hat) 

Currie took his hat off and we both carried our hats, holding them in our hands before us 
in a grand manner and looking as solemn and sedate as we could. We passed a few gentlemen 
and then turned around just in time to see one man whom we had passed, snatch his hat from his 
head and notice that others beyond had removed theirs. 

Five minutes later there was scarcely a gentleman in the Drill Hall with his hat upon his 
head. So that was how Currie and I got a crowd of men to take their hats off. 

J.S. Matthews. 

Mrs. Richard Abbott, 

3260 Thompson Crescent, 


West Vancouver, B.C. 


General Sir Arthur Currie at Ladysmith. 

August 1913. Suppression of civil disorder. 

This is a story I liave never seen in print and, tliougli I submitted it to Col. Urquliart, wlio wrote tlie life of 
my friend Colonel Currie, of Victoria, he did not use it. 

In August 1 91 3 the coal miners, agitated by American unionists, went on strike at Ladysmith, Nanaimo, 
Union Bay and Cumberland. The Provincial Police were sent to Nanaimo by steamer but, on attempting 
to disembark, the miners would not allow them and some of the constables were thrown off the wharf into 
the sea. The volunteer militia of Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster were called out, hurriedly. 
Those from the mainland went by boat and landed, if I recall aright, at Departure Bay and marched into 
Nanaimo. Others from Vancouver were sent to Union Bay and Cumberland. The Victoria militia was sent 
to Ladysmith where some of the houses of the coal company had been burned by the rioters. Also, the 
women were very nasty, and stealthily approaching the soldiers sleeping — it was warm — on the wooden 
sidewalk, kicked at them. It was a disagreeable situation. 

The militia of the mainland was, at first, the 6"^ D.C.O.R., the Seaforths and the Irish Fusiliers. Those from 
Victoria were the 88**^, and I think some of the 5*^ Regiment Canadian Garrison Artillery. I think there must 
have been some from the 50"^ Highlanders, because Col. Currie had ended his command of the 5* 
C.G.A., and had raised the kilted regiment known as the 50*. It was very inconvenient to all militiamen to 
be called out for riot duty. They were of all professions and trades — clerks, carpenters, street-car 
conductors, and it was not pleasant to have to drop one's work on a moment's notice, get into uniform 
and rush out of town without knowing when one would be back. However, it was done and done well. At 
Ladysmith, just above the E. & N. Railway station, was the Abbottsford Hotel where the soldiers were 

One morning, immediately after arrival at Ladysmith, Colonel Currie drew up his command in line on the 
middle of the street in front of the Abbottsford Hotel. The street was dry and dusty. He had a small 
command — not more than 50 or 100, in uniform of course, and with their rifles and sidearms. 

Colonel Currie stood out in front waiting for the parade to draw up in proper order and the inhabitants of 
Ladysmith soon saw what was going on. Men, women and children gathered to look. They were tolerably 
well behaved, were interested in the display and the uniforms, and there were few "cat calls." There was 
quite a small crowd of them, though large for Ladysmith. Word had soon spread and the crowd gathered. 

Colonel Currie turned from his men and faced the crowd. Then he addressed them something like this: 

"We are very sorry to have to come here. We are volunteer soldiers who have had to leave our homes 
and our offices, and it is putting us to much inconvenience as we do not know when we shall be able to 
go back to our homes. However, we have been sent here to keep order. We hope for the least possible 
trouble. We shall not trouble you if we can help it. But, we are here to keep order and" (sternly) "we intend 
to do it." 

Turning around, he commanded in a loud voice: 

"Witii five rounds ball, load. " 

In an instant the rifle bolts were going clickity, clickity, clickity, as five rounds ball were loaded from the 
magazines. Then there was a loud explosion. Someone, either accidentally or by previous order (quite 
likely the latter and by Currie's instructions) had pressed the trigger on his rifle. 

Before one could say "Jack Robinson" the crowd had dispersed. They took to their heels in one grand 
rush. They were gone. 

J.S. Matthews. 

October, 1952. 


From Early Vancouver, Vol. 4: "Archivists worth their weight in gold." 

Sir Arthur CuRRiE. 

About April 1 932, Gen. Sir Artliur Currie passed tlirough Vancouver on liis way from tlie Orient to eastern 
Canada, and was, one afternoon about four, informally entertained by a large assemblage of ex-overseas 
officers who had gathered together to shake hands, chat, and drink a cocktail in the "Oval Room" of the 
Hotel Vancouver. 

Prior to 1899, a large wooden shed served as the first drill hall in Vancouver, and General Currie, as 
former Corporal Currie of the 1^' Battalion, 5*^ Regiment, Canadian Garrison Artillery, Victoria, had once 
entered it on a holiday event when the Victoria battalion had paid a visit to the 2"^ Battalion in Vancouver. 
In 1 931 , the many regiments of Vancouver subscribed together to erect a memorial to mark the site of the 
old drill shed, and General Currie was invited to unveil the bronze tablet, but being indisposed in health, 
he declined, so the memorial was taken to the Oval Room for him to see. The shining new bronze tablet, 
bearing in part the words, "HERE STOOD THE DRILL SHED," was suitably placed upon an easel, and 
conducted by a group of senior officers. General Currie was escorted across the spacious room to view it; 
Major Matthews, City Archivist, Vancouver, long known to General Currie as a collector of military relics 
and records of British Columbia, as well as an old friend of many years, was among them, and had been 
responsible for the proposal, creation and design of the tablet. 

The general stood in front of the tablet for a moment or so, gazing and reading, and then, placing his 
hand on Major Matthews' shoulder, said with much feeling, "Gentlemen. Men like Matthews here are 
worth their weight in gold." 

He then continued with some reminiscences, etc., etc. 

"Men like" an archivist must naturally include all archivists. 

Just why Gen. Currie expressed himself thus must forever remain unknown, but it might have had 
something to do with his then recent unfortunate experience when he had to defend himself in the courts 
against unjust and libellous statements that "he sacrificed his men," and that the records fortunately 
kept — as all military units have to keep — served in some especially useful way to vindicate his actions in 
the Great War. 

The return of General Currie to Vancouver, 4 October 1919. 

A cursory memo by J.S. Matthews. 

Written following a letter, dated 13 February 1941, from Colonel Willis O'Connor, Office of the Principal 
Aide-de-Camp, Government House, Ottawa. (His Excellency the Earl of Athlone.) As Major O'Connor he 
was with General Currie the day he returned to Vancouver. Col. O'Connor's letter says in part: "It's hard 
for a great man to be a hero in his own country. He played too straight a game. " 

My recollection is that, news being that General Currie would reach Vancouver in the morning — I think by 
C.P.R. — I arose earlier than usual and made my way downtown. I found portions of Granville Street roped 
off, lamppost to lamppost, with a thick rope, about one inch, from Hastings Street to the old Hotel 
Vancouver on Georgia Street. I waited, as I was too late to reach the station. 

There were few people on the streets; fewer than usual. The ropes hung bare; none were near them; it 
seemed queer to see streets roped off for a crowd, and a few stragglers only on the sidewalks. It seemed 

However, presently, the procession came up the street. I forget just what, but a few motor cars, and it 
hurried onwards; there was scarcely a cheer. I do not recall hearing one. I hurried on down to "The 
Arena," on Georgia Street West, at Denman, and walked in just as the procession arrived. 

The inside of the "Arena," since burned down, was not especially prepossessing. It "sat" about 5,000, but 
was gaunt and bare; tier on tier of seats — bleachers — high up to the roof. All were empty; not a soul sat in 
them. The interior was poorly lighted in daytime, better at night, and this was daytime. In the centre of the 


large wooden floor was a platform, perhaps forty feet wide by twenty feet deep, and a lot of chairs ranged 
in rows. 

As soon as the procession arrived, all those who entered seemed to go up on the platform and take 
seats; General Currie and others of his party, excepting Major O'Connor, among them. Major O'Connor 
stayed on the floor and I spoke to him. I had met him in Ottawa during the war. There were more people, 
it seemed, on the platform than on the floor as audience. 

I whispered to Major O'Connor, "This is awful." 

Major O'Connor replied, "Never mind; he's living it down." 

Poor Currie; it was a terrible welcome; heartless, thoughtless, cruel, and undeserved. I was ashamed of 
Vancouver that day. 

Here is part of Col. O'Connor's letter, 13 February 1941. 

I can remember the day that General Currie went to the old arena; it wasn't a very friendly 
reception. It is hard for a great man to be a hero in his own country. He played too straight a 
game for the politicians, and would not be under their thumbs. 

Willis O'Connor. 

Canadian Customs at Vancouver Airport. As told by [Mrs.] Frank Way, 5576 Oak 
Street, Vancouver, 25 May 1956. 

Customs. Early landing places. Dominion Airways. Airlands Manufacturing Company. 
MiNORU Park. 

Mr. Way joined the Federal Customs and Excise Department in February, 1926, when Mr. G.A. 
Allen was Collector of Customs at Vancouver. He recalls when he (Mr. Way) used to go out to 
meet small aircraft at three different landing places — Minoru Park (now Lansdowne), Dominion 
Airways, in False Creek (near where Crystal Pool is now at the foot of Nicola Street) and Airlands 
Manufacturing Company on the Middle Arm of the Fraser River. 

Corpse flown by air. Runway lighted for first time. 

I, myself, remember Mr. Way coming home one evening and telling me of the exciting time he 
had had at the airport that day. He was working on a gasoline tanker anchored in the Fraser River 
at the Dominion Oil Company, near Marpole, checking the unloading of gasoline. Mr. Louis 
Deither was then head of the Dominion Oil Company. The then Superintendent at the Wharf 
Customs office in Vancouver (on Pier D), Mr. Isaac McKay, phoned him to say there was a plane 
on its way to Vancouver from Seattle. A reporter flew to Vancouver because he had heard that 
the body of Will Rogers, celebrated humorist and actor of stage and screen, was at the 
Vancouver airport. This was true, but the news was kept secret. Will Rogers died in the north 
country when he flew there in a seaplane with his pilot Wiley Post. Another pilot flew the body to 
Vancouver where it was held in the locked hangar till it could be flown south. The reporter from 
Seattle arrived after dark, before night flying had been authorised here, and of course, there were 
no lights. He had a small plane and could not go back to Seattle that night, so he had to be 
brought down somehow. It was Mr. Way who obtained flares and lined up every available 
automobile along the runway and had them turn on their lights, outlining the landing strip. The 
plane landed safely. To Mr. Way's knowledge, this was the first time automobiles were used to 
light the runway. 

First taxi to airport. Dan MacLure. 

In the beginning, pilots would send word ahead of the time they expected to arrive in Vancouver. 
On receipt of such information Mr. Way would go out to meet the plane. He always had to carry 
all his papers with him and travelled by taxi out to Sea Island (or wherever the plane was to land) 
to meet the pilots. This was when he first met Mr. Dan MacLure, the "pioneer taxi man and airline 
director" mentioned by Mr. Templeton in his report, "Vancouver Airport and Seaplane Harbour, 


The first sixteen years," 1947. In tliose days Mr. MacLure liad a seven-passenger Pacl<ard 
limousine and had the contract to carry passengers to downtown Vancouver from the airport, and 
vice versa. Later, a trailer hitched to the limousine carried the baggage. 

Pacific Airways. "Junkers." 

Mr. Dan MacLure also had an interest in an airline company known as "Pacific Airways," which 
owned an all-metal German "Junkers." This plane used Airlands Manufacturing Company 
facilities on Lulu Island on the Fraser River as their base. That building still stands today and is 
used, I believe, as a fruit or vegetable packing plant. The "Junkers" was used mostly on charter 
jobs to the north. Mr. MacLure passed away in the fall of 1953. 

The time came when a Customs Officer was needed permanently at the airport, and Mr. Way was 
assigned to it. Mr. Aubrey Roberts, of the Province, wrote a very nice article for the paper about 
Mr. Way at that time. 

In the first Administration Building, the only provision for the examination of baggage was a three 
foot counter in one corner of the rotunda. 

United Airlines. 

I remember Mr. Way bringing home many times the first United Airlines crew. Their names were: 
Frank Wittenberg, pilot (now deceased), Dwight Hansen, co-pilot, and Miss Bow, stewardess. Mr. 
Wittenberg previously flew a Boeing single-engine aircraft which was used in the south as a mail 
plane on trial runs in preparation for the future Airlines service between Seattle and Vancouver. 

Trans Canada Airlines. 

About this time, too. Trans Canada Airlines used to fly ten-passenger planes to Seattle. "Billy" 
Wells often flew empty both ways and Mr. Way often went along for the ride. I was a passenger 
once myself. The trip each way took fifty-five minutes. 

Mexico, first non-stop flight. 

Mr. Way has a photo of the first plane and pilot to make a non-stop flight to Mexico, and also a 
photo showing the first express package to be carried by United Airlines. Miss Bow, the 
stewardess, is in the photo; also Mr. Way and Mr. Maclachlan. 

Mrs. Frank Way. 

Oct 2, 1956. 

Note: referring to the second paragraph [of the above account], it was the well-know pilot Joe 
Crosson who flew the bodies of Will Rogers and his pilot Wiley Post to Vancouver. They were 
both killed when their plane crashed in the north. 

Referring to the non-stop flight to Mexico, it was pilot Keith Rider, who set a record in July 1935. 

See photographs. Air P. 78, N. 49; Air P. 79, N. 50. 

Also see Photostat P. 114, N. 169, which is a report on the airport from 1931-1935 written by Mr. 
Templeton for Mr. Way. 

Mrs. Way. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_027 


[photo annotation:] 

First Air Plane Visitor to Vancouver BC Marcli 25, 1 91 0. 

"First air plane; Visitor to Vancouver, Canada; March 25, 1 91 0." Letter, 7 Dec. 1 931 , William Templeton, 
manager. Sea Island Airport, to Major J.S. Matthews: - "The first aeroplane flight was made at Minoru 
Park in March 1910 by Charles K. Hamilton, of New York, who toured the country in a Curtis (pusher) 
plane. Hamilton flew at all Pacific Coast cities; crating the plane and shipping it from place to place. One 
dollar admission to Minoru Park was charged, and the B.C. Electric ran special trains from the city. 
Thousands paid admission on the one afternoon on which he flew. Two flights of about ten or fifteen 
minutes were made, and on the second landing he smashed a wheel, (see photograph), and part of the 
landing gear, and narrowly escaped a bad crack-up. Those were the first two flights made in a powered 
aircraft in the neighborhood of Vancouver." 

An elaborate printed programme, under the auspices of "Vancouver Aviation Committee" was for "Minoru 
Park, March 25, 26, 28, 1910." This post card was presented. May 1950, by Noel Robinson, Esq., 2334 
West 6* Ave. He had been given it by Mr. R.G. Pinchbeck, of Kamloops. City Archives. J.S.M. 


The late Archbishop de Pencier. 

Dear Dean Swanson: 

1^'june 1949 

May I be privileged to address myself to you; as, wishing to record the performance, I 
must address myself to someone. 

It is that, immediately I left the Cathedral this afternoon at the conclusion of the obsequies 
of His Grace the late Archbishop, and before leaving the Cathedral precincts, I lit my pipe and 
smoked. It is admitted that I took six or seven puffs only and then put it back in my pocket lest 
others may observe a seeming impropriety. It is also admitted that I did not enjoy the smoking 
very much — indeed scarcely at all. The story is this. 

Some twenty or twenty-five years ago the Archbishop, then as until lately the chaplain of 
Western Gate Lodge — of Freemasons — and I were riding in a motor car, seated side by side at 
the funeral of, so far as I recall, the late Brother Cross of Western Gate. After we had reached the 
outskirts of the City a desire to smoke my pipe came over me and I fuddled with it. Then I 
remarked to the Archbishop, "I wonder if Mr. Cross would mind if I had a smoke at his funeral." 
The Archbishop replied, "I'm sure he wouldn't; you have permission to smoke at mine." 

This afternoon I recalled the permission given, and took occasion to give effect to it. 
There may be those who regard such as bordering on the trivial, but, in this I do not agree. The 
Archbishop thought fit to give me permission to smoke at his funeral, and good manners ordain 
that I should do as he deigned to grant permission. So I did it. 

With best wishes, 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

The Very Rev. Cecil Swanson, D.D. 
Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, 


Ottawa, 21" Sept. 1951. 


City Hall Vancouver 

Delighted to lunch Stanley Park September twenty seventh 


From Vancouver Daily Province, Friday, 28 September 1951. 

stanley's descendant hears history of park 

Vancouver's Court House site was a wilderness of charred stumps, giant forest trees were 
standing at Nicola Street, and Indian shacks were dotted around Lost Lagoon that day in 1889 
when Lord Stanley of Preston rode behind four white horses to open Stanley Park. 

Under different circumstances — but with the same spirit — the scene was re-enacted Thursday in 
the banquet room at Stanley Park Pavilion. 

Principals were Edward John Stanley, Earl of Derby and great-grandson of the Earl who was 
governor-general in 1889, and Major J.S. Matthews, city archivist. 


RECALLS HISTORY. Major Matthews, at a Park Board luncheon tendered the Earl and Countess 
of Derby, took his audience back over the years to the days when Stanley Park was largely a 
dream in the minds of far-sighted citizens, and particularly to the day when the park was 
dedicated to the use of "people of all colors, creeds and customs — for all time." 

From Vancouver Sun, Friday, 28 September 1951 . 

Scroll for Lord Derby 

Major J. S. Matthews, city archivist, "stole the show" at a luncheon for Lord and Lady Derby in 
Stanley Park Pavilion Thursday by re-enacting the ceremony in which Lord Stanley presented the 
park to the city in 1889. 

Lord Stanley, then Governor-General of Canada, was Lord Derby's great-grandfather, and when 
he dedicated the park to the city at the foot of the old Pipeline Road, the grateful citizens of 
Vancouver presented him with a scroll of thanks. 

The scroll was re-presented to the city in 1949, and although the major had it on display 
Thursday, he said he wasn't giving back the original. He was obviously deeply affected by the 
visit of Lord Derby and admitted he has been "living for this day." 

"It is a great honor today to present you with this copy of the scroll presented to your illustrious 
ancestor when he dedicated this park for the pleasure of all creeds, colors and kinds of people," 
the major told Lord Derby. 

Lord Derby said he was realizing a lifetime ambition in visiting for the first time the park which 
bears his name, for he is Edward John Stanley, Earl of Derby. 

He expressed great pleasure at meeting Major Matthews, "with whom I have often corresponded, 
and who keeps me abreast of goings-on here, and of the disposition of the Stanley Cup each 

He added that Britain looks with great gratitude to Canada for her help during and after two wars 
in which "we have bankrupted our economy in the interests of freedom." 

About 30 persons attended the luncheon, including many former park commissioners and Mayor 
Fred Hume. 

Lord and Lady Derby at Vancouver, 27-29 September 1 951 . 

Hotel Vancouver 

Sept. 29*^951 

Dear Major Matthews: 

It was so nice, having corresponded with you for so long, to meet you the other day. Shall 
look forward to your letters with even greater interest now. 

My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Vancouver, and we both send you our 

Yours sincerely, 




Vancouver, Oct. 4'^ 1951. 

Lord and Lady Derby 

on board train No. [blank] at Glacier B.C. 

Tlianl< you botli for tlie enjoyment you liave given us Greetings to all of gallant England 

J.S. Matthews 

Excerpts from letter, 4 October 1955, from Thomas A. Dutton, early City 
Official, now of Box 170, Cobble Hill, B.C., to Major Matthews. 

Passage from False Creek to Burrard Inlet at Campbell Avenue. 

The upper end of False Creek had not been filled in about 1904 or 1905, and the Great Northern 
Railway was unknown. You may remember that it was a short distance from False Creek to the 
shore line of Burrard Inlet, and it was a simple matter to take a boat or canoe across. Along the 
south shore of False Creek there was good duck shooting. The Great Northern Railway, later, 
built a long trestle for their railway across the mud flats to a railway terminus station at Dupont 
street, near Columbia. Dupont street was from Carrall street to Westminster Avenue, now Main 

City Yards. 

The photograph I am sending you of the City Yards on the south side of False Creek beside the 
old wooden Cambie Street bridge was taken in 1904 or 1905 when Dr. McGuigan was Mayor, 
Tom McGuigan, City Clerk, Colonel Tracy, City Engineer, and Jake Kilmer, his assistant. I was 
with James Stuart, Purchasing Agent. 

Miss Edith Jackson. "100,000 Men in 1910." 

in the big parade were men carrying banners bearing the slogan "In 1910 Vancouver then will 
have 100,000 Men." It took off from the old City Hall at the cornerof Westminster Avenue and 
Hastings street. Tommy Hicks' hack carried all the big wigs, and sitting in one of them was a 
young lady. Miss Edith Jackson, later Mrs. Gitchell; her husband was in the B.C. Electric. She 
was supposed to be Vancouver's first baby, a claim afterwards disputed. 

(Note: she was fourth. J.S.M.) 

Salmon at English Bay. 

No one would ever dream that, during the salmon run, English Bay would be so full of fish one 
could figuratively, almost cross to the south shore by stepping from fish to fish, and still harder to 
believe that I caught a salmon at the corner of Maple street and Third Avenue . The late Harry T. 
Devine, the City's first Assessment Commissioner, and I were out assessing. Of course, very little 
local improvements in the outskirts of the city had been attempted then, except by the chain 

Chain gang. 

The chain gang was under the watchful eye of Constable McAuley, who drove his guests out to 
work in a wagon drawn by a slow and very easy going team of horses. Needless to say the 
amount of work done on a road or ditch, by the gang, did not make any appreciable difference to 
either. Ah, well; those were great days. 


False Cteekf headoi easteT^djl^og . The dn-m^ oj hf».l dPT.s , ^tohnbly sottic. spwerm sf:-fp«»t: exca\intion, 

15 QTL Fifst flygTiue.jtisb ecisl: ot eie-nl]ti've.,a-n.d -now, (i^^Xl s^cfn-ueA h.j thp. fim^(jv/ipw Vtoduc^.. THp 

ThP a-<P.nt: Nntl-hetn'Rciiiway pYO^oAed a. spur ImP r^o th e ft.S.Tlnrk on Tintfatd I-nlpr.,0-nH this bhnl-ngtnKh wr..; 
H-fnlinmy taken to show the ehaiacter aj the -f-'igh L-of-way. Tl- wa9> ainV,nsfri to PTt-Pnfl f^lp-nTi-('m-A"bij , 
jni'mg i-g the t;d£ landjthus joj-nrng the Tlr>T^ K aTid. souirh enHf^^tn -mnkc n rnnti-nunu-i ^|--<-ppI- fYtj-trt iui^ 
-Taid Inlet, g-nd thfn exte-nd HtbIl ftve from the TioLildp.r dum^, hpf p ■^ hnv^TT., tn TtiPet (lipTv -nVrv p The. Fw^.^ 

SpP C^nacL' s fttia^.boQk g.,TlntP!^ R< cinf] 

I91H. Sefc CompHTiKlti phato to Lhc-noTl-h . City /ltch-|Mf.^. a.S.-hi . 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_028 

[photo annotation:] 

False Creek, head or east end, 1909. The dump of boulders, probably some sewer or street excavation, 
is on First Avenue, just east of Glen Drive, and now, (1 953) spanned by the Grandview Viaduct. The 
distant bridge appears to be the B.C. Electric interurban trestle which spanned the salt marsh at Venable 
St. The Great Northern Railway proposed a spur line to the G.N. Dock on Burrard Inlet, and this 
photographs was probably taken to show the character of the right-of-way. It was proposed to extend 
Glen Drive by filing in the tide land, thus joining the north and south ends, to make a continuous street 
from Burrard Inlet, and then extend First Ave from the Boulder dump, here shown, to meet Glen Drive. 
The First Avenue, or Grandview Viaduct was finally opened. The exact location of this is the bend in 
Grandview Viaduct. See Goad's Atlas, book 2, Plates 83 and [blank], 1913. See companion photo to the 
north. City Archives. J.S.M. 


Visit of T.R.H. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (King George V and 
Queen Mary), September 1 901 . 

According to Alderman James Edgar Elkins , of Vancouver, who was one of the cavalry escort, of the 
North West Mounted Police with 55 horses and men, trained at Calgary for some time prior to the Royal 
visit of their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, afterwards King George 
Fifth and Queen Mary. The escort reached Vancouver by train about two hours ahead of the Royal train. 
They disembarked, saddled up, and took part in the procession through Vancouver streets; then got on 
the Victoria boat with their horses and went through the same ceremony at Victoria. After the Royal 
visitors returned to Vancouver they remained in Victoria for some days and then came back to Vancouver 
and entrained for Calgary. 

He speaks of it as a "wonderful trip" for a young man from the prairie, who was accustomed to flat land. 
The mountains were superb, the ceremonies exciting and so forth. 

J.S. Matthews 

28 March 1935. 

Tales of English Bay. 

On the evening of 14 July 1951, at a carnival held on the sand of English Bay bathing beach by the 
Canadian Legion, West End branch. Major J.S. Matthews, City Archivist, was invited by Noel Robinson, 
Esq., one of the members of the Legion, to tell a short tale about English Bay in response to Mr. 
Robinson's questions. 

Mr. Robinson: "Who, Major Matthews, was the first white man to set foot on English Bay bathing 


Major Matthews: Jimmy Seivewright, a Cariboo miner and his companions. They had built a poor boat 
in Victoria, crossed the Strait of Georgia in it, and entered the Eraser River on the way 
to the mines. They found the Eraser River in flood — the banks were awash. They 
could not find a dry place to camp and the mosquitoes were in awful millions. They 
retreated downstream and came over here to camp to await a more favourable 
opportunity. My contention is that here, at English Bay, they established the first 
tourist camp in British Columbia. 

Two years later, in 1859, H.M.S. Plumper, Capt. Richards, after whom Richards Street 
is named, made the first chart of the waters of the bay. Those jack tars off the sailing 
warships probably came here too — to stretch their legs. 

In 1862, less than 90 years ago, John Morton, with an Indian, landed here. Morton 
was looking for pottery clay. He had come out through the First Narrows in a dugout, 
but the tide was running out and the waters so swift they could not go back that way, 
so they came here. The Indian dragged the canoe up the beach, hid it in the bushes, 
and the two of them made off through a narrow trail wide enough for one man — now 
our Denman Street — and were soon back in Coal Harbour where they had started. 
Morton, and the other two preemptors, called by the people in New Westminster the 
"three greenhorn Englishmen" because they took up land twelve miles away in the 
forest, acquired all land in the West End west of Burrard Street, 550 acres, for $550. 
Morton named the West End the "City of Liverpool," and rejoiced in his little beach 
here, which he called "my little Blackpool," after the famous seaside resort in England. 

Mr. Robinson: "Who were the first white men to live here?" 

Major Matthews: 

It must be remembered that, at the time you are speaking of — ninety years ago — all 
Vancouver was hidden beneath a dense forest towering 250 feet to the skies. Along 
the shores where we are now sitting the waters, at high tide, lapped the lower 
branches and, again, this beach was covered with large and small boulders, the 


Mr. Robinson: 
Major Matthews: 

remains of wliicli you see on my riglit. Tliese boulders were covered witli sliarp 
mussel shells which cut the bare feet. They have long since been removed. 

Now, there were 3 to 5 thousand Indians living on English Bay. They were canoe 
Indians — their home was the sea and the shore. To make a canoe they had first to cut 
down a cedar tree in the forest, and do it with stone hammers and stone chisels. It 
took a year or two years to make a canoe. They also made ropes of cedar bark to tie 
those canoes, and took as much care of their canoes as a whiteman takes care of his 
horse. In order that the sharp rocks and [see "Conversations with Kiialitsaiilano," 
Mattliews] shells should not damage the bottom of the canoes, or cut the cedar bark 
ropes, the Indians cleared a short stretch of beach, about 150 feet wide, for a canoe 
landing. It was at the mouth of a small creek, which provided fresh water, down at 
Gilford Street. They called it "Ay-yul-shun." "Ay-yul-shun" means "soft under feet," or 
"sandy place." 

Later, when the loggers cleared off the forest, now our West End, they built their camp 
on the little cleared place the Indians had used, and their oxen dragged the logs down 
the hill to the sea. 

Then the loggers went away, and little Miss Mackey, a girl of thirteen, came with her 
ailing mother who hoped to restore her health here. Miss Mackey, now Mrs. Percy 
Nye, cooked her mother's meals on the top of a huge flat rock down at the foot of 
Denman Street. They lived in the shack the loggers had vacated. Later, with her own 
hands, little Miss Mackey built a tiny shelter on the beach with boards which had 
drifted in. It was our first bathing pavilion. She also built herself a swing — our first 
public playground. For the use of the shelter as a bathhouse she charged individuals 
five cents and families ten cents, and that summer saved enough money in this way to 
buy herself a watch. 

"What are the particulars. Major Matthews, of the 'Great English Bay Scandal'?" 

I am surprised, Mr. Robinson, that, in the mellow judgment which your grey hairs give, 
you should ask such a question. The "Great English Bay Scandal" was a shocking 
thing. It shocked all Vancouver. Of course it was reported in the press, editorials were 
written, and I think it ultimately reached the City Council. It happened in this way. 

When old Joe Fortes was first self-appointed beach guard here at English Bay, there 
was a huge boulder at the foot of Denman Street — big as a house — and all women 
bathed to the west of it and all men to the east. Woe betide any smart-alex man who 
intruded westwards. The women called, Joe came running and chased the intruder 
away. But, as time went on, women became bolder and invaded the men's part, but 
still retained their old style bathing suits, which were more like dresses with flounces 
around the middle hanging like mudguards on a motor car. It was a wonder they were 
not drowned. They also wore stockings and sandals; they looked very nice, too. 

Then one day one impertinent hussy, bolder than the others, went in bathing without 
her stockings. She was as sight to behold — she was bare naked right up to her knees. 
The Women's Christian Temperance Union wrote to the press about it and what they 
wrote about the bold woman was published in the newspapers. She sued the 
W.C.T.U. for libel. The case went to court and she got damages. And, if you don't 
believe it, go down to the Police Court and see the records. 

Of course, the old heavy dress bathing suit had its merits — it did leave something to 
the imagination. But, nowadays, the girls leave nothing at all to imagination. 

Mr. Robinson and Major Matthews withdraw. 


"Felix Penne." J. Francis Bursill of the "Bursill Institute," Collingwood, 
Vancouver, Canada. 

A mention of Mr. Bursill in a letter from Mr. G.A. Jackson of 36 High Street, Brierley Hill, Staffordshire, 
England, reminds me that I ought to put down a story they tell about Mr. Bursill and Mr. Noel Robinson, a 
well-known litterateur of Vancouver. Mr. Bursill wore a long, bushy beard; he was most untidy in his dress. 
He has been seen going into the newspaper office where he worked about 9 a.m., in the morning still in 
his evening dress, with tails, which he wore attending a banquet the previous evening. He hadn't 
bothered to take it off and had slept in it — and it looked to suit. 


Outside the door entering the "White Lunch," a Granville Street restaurant, or cafe. Mr. 
Robinson is passing and notices Mr. Bursill standing on the doorstep. He has just had his 
breakfast within and is coming out, wondering which way to go, or what to do next. The 
conversation starts heartily: 

Mr. Robinson 
Mr. Bursill: 
Mr. Robinson 
Mr. Bursill: 
Mr. Robinson 
Mr. Bursill: 
Mr. Robinson 
Mr. Bursill: 

"Good morning, Mr. Bursill." 

"Good morning, Mr. Robinson." 

"It's a nice morning, Mr. Bursill." 

"Very nice morning indeed, Mr. Robinson." 

"You've been having breakfast, Mr. Bursill?" 

"I've been having breakfast, Mr. Robinson, you guessed aright." 

"And I know what you've had for breakfast." 

"No, you don't know what I've had for breakfast." 

Mr. Robinson: "I say I do know what you had for breakfast." 

Mr. Bursill: "You don't know what I had for breakfast." 

Mr. Robinson: "I say I do know what you had for breakfast." 

Mr. Bursill: "I say you don't know." 

Mr. Robinson: "But I say I do." 

Mr. Bursill: "What did I have for breakfast." 

Mr. Robinson: "You had eggs for breakfast." 

Mr. Bursill: "No, I didn't. I haven't had eggs for three weeks." 

J.S. Matthews, 
City Archivist 

8 March 1949. 




as originally published 
**YancouTer Sun^'spage 16 
Saturday, August Idth 1920 
under his ziooH-de-pltaie 


TO I>OA>L,D I>OWAll?. } 

(On 'eadiTig- his tribute to the mem- 
'.m,^. o^y ot Dr. de Verteull. 

t^'Tis infamy to die and not be 
I thank thee. Comrade Downie, for 
that lint. 
Let me i(iia.a!ne lips that I h&ve 
pressed ' 

--- ft^iiji^&'i in memory, pre^ these 

iik^&til'i in 
lip^ Of n 


iVhen 1 shall journey to thrt Un- 
known Land ' 
Shall I some memories leave Death 
cannot kill? 
Will men, with manly grip, stUl take 
V my hand? 

; Will children listen for a voice 
i that's still? 

' Death hath no stiug for me, if wkea 
I sleep 
Children — and dogrs -— remember I 
•- ' ■%frhere I lie; ' ** 

Xf — missing me — some gentle women 
And men, recalling me, shall heave 
a fiigli. 

If -word I speak or. write b*Ip8 fel- 
low man 
To nobler, bravAr, 111*, to a«>ira- 
tions high, 
I shall not — csase. When I have 

filled Uf«'h saan 
* To be remembered thus is not — 

to die. . . -i'EiifX FENNE. 

X " "■. * 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_029 


I Shall Not Cease. 

"Tis infamy to die and not be missed," 
(I tlianl< tliee, unl<nown poet, for tliat line.) 
Let me imagine lips that I have kissed. 
Will still, in memory, press these lips of mine. 

When I shall journey to the Unknown Land, 
Shall I some memories leave Death cannot kill? 
Will men, with many grip, still take my hand? 
Will children listen for the voice that's still? 

Death hath no sting for me, if when I sleep. 
Children — and dogs — remember where I lie; 
If — missing me — some gentle women weep, 
And men, recalling me, shall heave a sigh. 

If word I speak, or write, helps fellow man 

To nobler, braver life; to aspirations high; 

I shall not — cease — when I have filled life's span. 

To be remembered thus is — not to die . 

"Felix Penne" 
(John Francis Bursill) 

Vancouver, December, 1918. 

Note: perhaps the most beautiful and most lasting poem ever written in Vancouver; many thousands of 
copies have been printed. 

J.S. Matthews, 
8 March 1 949. City Archivist 

John Francis Bursill, "Felix Penne," a warm hearted litterateur and journalist, formerly of London, 
England; founder, Bursill Institute and Collingwood Free Library, 1911, Vancouver Dickens Fellowship, 
and Shakespeare Society. Died 8 February 1928. 

First published in The Gold Stripe, Vol. 1 , page 1 60, a journal of the Amputations Club of British 
Columbia, and signed "Felix Penne," (J. Francis Bursill), Vancouver, December, 1918. Title, "I Shall Not 
Cease" added by City Archivist, 1935. 


The first brick building in Vancouver. The Ferguson Block. A.G. Ferguson of 
Ferguson's Point, Stanley Park. 

836 Vernon Ave., 
Victoria, B.C. 
Feb. 10'^ 1937. 

Major Mattliews. 


I arrived in Vancouver two days after tlie fire in 1 886. I was on tlie platform, wliere tine 
first train arrived, bedecl<ed witli flags. I also worked on the first brick building in Vancouver, the 
Ferguson Block. I left Vancouver in 1892. 

Yours respectfully, 

Fred M. Tatham 

Note: this building stood on the southeast corner of Powell and Carrall streets on the site of the first 
wooden Ferguson Block, which was destroyed in the Great Fire, 13 June 1886. The third Ferguson 
building stood on the southwest corner of Richards and Hastings streets, the present site of the Standard 

February 1956. J.S.M. 

Conversation with Mr. Arthur J. Ford, pioneer, 1888, who kindly called at the 
City Archives this afternoon, bringing with him a small section of wood, about 
eight inches square, full of toredo [teredo] worm bore holes, 27 september 1946. 

First C.P.R. wharf, 1886. Toredoes [teredos]. 

Mr. Ford: "This is a section cut from the piles of the first Canadian Pacific Railway wharf at the foot of 
Granville Street. It was being taken out to be replaced and I was standing nearby and asked them to cut 
these pieces off for me as I wanted to keep it as a curiosity. I don't know just the precise year, but I 
should think it would be about 1 889. That would mean that the piles were in the inlet for about three 

S.S. Beaver copper spike. 

"This five inch copper spike is from the old Beaver as she lay on the rocks in the First Narrows after she 
was wrecked. I took it out myself in 1 889." 

(Note: the spike is slightly bent; is squared about 5/16 with a square head.) 

SEWERAGE. Septic tank. Sign's Corner. 

"When I was with Rodney, at Sich's Corner" (southwest corner of Cambie and Cordova) "my father came 
from England to visit me. At the time there was a great discussion going on in Vancouver regarding the 
sewerage. My father told me that they had just put in a new system in Exeter, Devonshire; the Cameron 
Septic tank system. I asked him to send me all the particulars he could. This the firm of Cameron, 
Cummings and Martin did and I, at once, took it up with the City Council, and, after many months of 
negotiations, sold the rights to the city. This was the first sewerage system Vancouver had. Years after 
this, Mr. Cameron came to this country and was City Engineer of North Vancouver." 

Book of clippings, septic tank, 1899. 

"This is a book of newspaper clippings about it. You may have it if you wish." 

BOOK OF Point Grey land sales, 1906. Rank and Ford, auctioneers. 

"This is the auctioneers' record of sales book at the auction sale of lands in what is now the great city of 
Vancouver. The lands belonged to the Provincial government and were situated in Point Grey, Hastings, 


South Vancouver, old city of Vancouver, and city of Nortli Vancouver, and even Lulu Island. Mr. Rankin 
and I were both of us auctioneers at the sale, which was held in O'Brien Hall, southeast corner of 
Hastings and Homer streets. The hall would hold perhaps seven hundred and fifty and it was so crowded 
one could hardly get it. It was a four day sale. We opened the sale and sold until about one o'clock, then 
opened again about two o'clock and sold until about five. In one afternoon, a Wednesday, I sold three 
hundred and twelve parcels in four hours. That was fast. In the first day the sales totalled over a quarter 
of a million dollars. After that they were not so large, but averaged about one hundred and fifty thousand 

"This is our record of sales book, and if you wish to have it, you are welcome to it." 

City of Vancouver, sixty-five years old today. 

4866 Manor street 
Vancouver, B.C. 
Aprils*, 1951. 

My dear Major: 

Thank you for the photos, which arrived safely; the people made a good job of it. I can 
assure you that I appreciate it sincerely. I am afraid my writing is very bad today — not feeling up 
to the mark. 

Regarding my life; a few points might interest you enough to put with what you have got. 
First thing on landing in Canada I joined the Bank of British North America in Montreal; only 
stayed with that a few months; got the wanderlust, so packed up and came to Vancouver. 

Milk delivery. 

The first job I had in Vancouver, went to George Black's ranch in Coquitlam and spent 
several weeks pulling turnips. A short time after that I came back to town and got a job driving a 
milk wagon for the Seymour Creek Milk Ranch owned by Rolph, Phibbs and Thompson. I rowed 
a boat of milk cans across the inlet to Hastings where we kept a horse and truck. I had three 
places only to deliver the milk. Hotel Vancouver, Leiand Hotel and a private house, and then 
home, or rather Hastings, put up the horse and row home. When I got back to the ranch, had 
lunch, washed the milk cans, then I was through until next morning — real early — up at 5 a.m.; 
load up the boat, and once more hit the sea for Hastings. I can tell you in winter it was no picnic — 
dark, snow, wind, and strong tide running, and devilish cold. Had to be done; milk due at 
destination seven a.m. 

I might say I was made a mason in 1904, Acacia Lodge, G.R.B.C. No. 22. Also in 1904 I 
got my notary commission from the B.C. Government signed by the then Lieutenant Governor, Sir 
Henri Joly de Lobiniere. I don't know that there are many older commissions in B.C. 

Once more thanking you for your kindness. 

Yours very sincerely, 

Arthur J. Ford. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_030 


[photo annotation:] 

Garvin Milk Rancli, Westminster Road, circa 1890, now Kingsway. In 1955 Reuben Hamilton, 836 East 
20"^ Ave, wrote: - "I was born June 2"'^ 1888, on which date my mother's brother, John Brown, left Ontario 
for Vancouver. On the train he met Samuel Garvin, wife and three small children. My uncle bought some 
land and was the first to make a wagon road into the 800 block East 20'^ Ave. About 1889 or 1890 
Samuel Garvin settled on the banks of a small unnamed creek, and built the cottage, shown on the left, in 
the 900 block East 20'^. A wooden bridge on the old Westminster Road, now Kingsway, crossed the 
creek, later called 'Jones Creek' at the Windsor street of today. Joseph Jones, a Welshman, worked for 
Samuel Garvin, then went into the milk business for himself." (see photos Dist. 96 and 97, N. 79 and 80.) 
"Later Samuel Garvin built the two storey addition on the right, and, still later, the cottage was taken down 
and replaced with another similar addition. In 1955 the two structures are standing and known as 948-950 
East 1 9**^ Ave. The wooden bridge on Westminster Road separated the two milk ranches. My father and 
brother arrived in Vancouver in May 1890. Garvin was from Ireland. ["] City Archives. J.S.M. 

The Garvin milk ranch, Westminster Road (Kingsway), 1890. 

The original cottage on the left, the new two-storey addition on right. Later the cottage was taken down 
and replaced with another similar addition. In 1955 the whole is still standing and known as 948-950 East 
19'^ Avenue. 

In 1955 Reuben Hamilton, 836 East 20* Avenue, wrote: 

John Brown was my mother's brother and was born in the same log house in the backwoods of 
Ontario as I was born June 2"'^, 1 888, on which date my uncle left Ontario for Vancouver. On the 
train he met Samuel Garvin, wife and three small children from Ireland. My uncle bought some 
land and was the first to make a wagon road into the 800 block East 20* Avenue. 

Samuel Gervin lived for a short period on Mount Pleasant and then about 1 889 or 1 890 settled on 
the banks of an unnamed creek and built the cottage shown here in the 900 block East 20* 
Avenue. A wooden bridge in the old Westminster Road (now Kingsway) crossed the creek, later 
called Jones Creek, at the Windsor Street of today. Joseph Jones, a Welshman, worked for 
Samuel Garvin, then went into the milk business for himself /see photos Dist. P. 96, 97, N. 79, 80] 
and the wooden bridge separated the two milk ranches. My father and brother arrived in 
Vancouver in May, 1890. 

Samuel Gervin founded the firm of Gervin Ice and Fuel Co. Ltd., in 1955 an important business. 

The (Moses) Gibson ranch. 

20* Avenue, 

"The Gibson Ranch" 

From Reuben Hamilton, 836 East 20* Avenue, 18 March 1954 

"Oh! For a touch of a hand that has vanished 
And the sound of a voice that is still." 

MOSES GIBSON, an old man, lived alone and died about 1937-1938 on what was left of his 
ranch of about one city lot at the corner (north east) of 20* and Knight Road. He was one of the 
first school trustees of the first one room school in D.L. 301 . He was from Ireland, and came to 
Canada in the early days and settled in Shellburne, Ont. Here he married and the first five of his 
family were born. 

Sometime during the year 1886 he moved to Vancouver, and bought the Queens Hotel on Water 
street, while it was still under construction, and was proprietor until 1893. By this time his family 
had increased, and may be the reason why he sold his hotel to look for a new home. 

He bought 19 acres in Cedar Cottage between Knight Road, Bella Vista, 18* and 20* Avenues. 
This was "THE GIBSON RANCH," and 20* Avenue was "THE GIBSON ROAD." 


Here are the names of the family as they were born: Charlotte; Ruth (dead); Moses (dead); Isaac, 
Thomas (dead); James; Joseph (dead); Samuel, Victor and Jennie. I knew them all. The last five 
born in Vancouver. 

from Reuben Hamilton 

Conversation with Mrs. W.M. Gow, 984 Burrard Street, who very kindly called at 
THE City Archives this afternoon and stayed for a cup of tea. 

A.M.J. Farr. W.G. Babcock. Williams and Craig. Maud Templeton. Temporary City Hall. 

Mrs. Gow: "This photo" (about 1890) "of an old butcher shop, with a wooden sidewalk in front, a barrel 
high up, and staircase on the right, and with the number '14' upon it, and with a calf in the street, is the 
butcher shop which stood on the south side of Hastings Street East, a few doors from Carrall Street. The 
date is about 1890, about then, the same ground as the 'Temporary City Hall' stood, 16 East Hastings 

"The man I do not recognise, but the woman is Mrs. W.J. Babcock; the first young lady I think, but am not 
sure, is Maud Templeton, daughter of Mayor Templeton; the next is Ethel Babcock, I am sure of that, and 
the little boy may be the brother of Maud Templeton, that is Boy Templeton. He was the youngest and 
they always called him 'Boy.' 

"I think that Mrs. William Farr and Mrs. Babcock were sisters. 

"I do not know who the man is who is seated but it might be that the two men are Williams and Craig — the 
partner butchers. 

"The part of the building on the left belonged to Menzies" (of McCain and Menzies.) "He was a house 

(See photo Bu. N. 382, P. 394.) 

Mrs. Gow and her father came to Granville 9 March 1885. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_031 


[photo annotation:] 

Hastings street at Carrall street, circa 1890. No. 14 Hastings St; see figures "14" on post; tine subsequent 
location of tlie "Holden Building," used as "Temporary City Hall" from 1929 to 1936. Mrs W.M. Gow, 984 
Burrard st, dau. of Mr A. R. Coughtery, pioneer butcher, 1885, said, Nov. 14, 1951: - "This two story 
building stood on the south side of Hastings St, just east of Carrall; it was Williams' butcher shop, 
(Williams and Craig). I do not recognise the two men; they may be the two partners. The woman is Mrs 
(W.J.) Babcock; of that I am sure; they lived upstairs; you can see the outside stairs on the right. I think 
the girl next to Mrs Babcock is Maud Templeton, daughter of Mayor Templeton, whose store was across 
the street; the next is Ethel Babcock, and the little boy may be Roy, the youngest of the Templetons. The 
part of the building on the left belonged to Mr Menzies, of McCain and Menzies, house movers." Wood 
plank sidewalk. Earth road. A folding door of long slats, seen on the right, closed the shop, and permitted 
free and full circulation of air. On Dec. 29, 1951, a granddaughter of Frank J. Russell, 2832 Willingdon 
Ave, Burnaby, pioneer, 1889, now 81, told me her grandfather told her to say that Mrs W.J. Babcock was 
his sister. Mr Ian Earl Russell, son of E.J. Russell, and of the firm of Farr, Robinson & Bird, Ltd, told me 
that Mrs Babcock, (his aunt) was aunt to Major Percy Farr, founder of the firm. Mrs William Farr and Mrs 
Babcock were sisters. Butcher cart in street; scales on floor in rear; carcasses on hooks on right hand 
wall. City Archives. J. S.M. 


The Newfoundland fishermen of West Vancouver. 

Conversation with Mr. W.A. Grafton, of Grafton Bay, Grafton Lake, Bowen Island, and now living at 542 
West 63'^'' Avenue, who kindly called at the City Archive; 
pears, which are most acceptable, 12 September 1946. 

West 63'^'' Avenue, who kindly called at the City Archives this morning bringing a basket of apples and 

Seal Rocks. Bird Rock. Whyte Island. D.L. 430. Captain Alcock. 

Mr. Grafton: "Capt. Alcock, the Newfoundland fisherman, had his house right in front of the rock and he 
was the only man I ever heard call it Seal Rocks. Charlie McGregor located on deeded land, and the 
government could not settle with the owners so the government paid the fishermen for their 
improvements. They had settled the Newfoundland fishermen on the wrong land. 

"Once I went to a picnic and I spoke to Colonel McGregor and mentioned about the government settling 
the Newfoundland fishermen on private property. He jumped when I mentioned it, and ejaculated, 'I did 
that!' Then he went on to say, 'They told me at the land office,' and I forget what he said after that, but 
evidently the Land Office made a mistake. Capt. Alcock was no relative of the Alcock pioneer family of 
Vancouver — not that I know of. Capt. Alcock's son was drowned in the Fraser River — that was John — and 
the other son went to the Klondike and lost his life in the upsetting of a canoe. Capt. Alcock died long time 
ago and Mrs. Alcock, she died too, not so very long ago." 

Fisherman's Cove. 

Note by J.S. Matthews: There is a great deal about this fishermen's settlement from which Fisherman's 
Cove takes its name, that is, the Fisherman's Cove at Whytecliffe. There is another place now bearing the 
name Fisherman's Cove. A meddling Department of Marine Agent (Mr. Parizeau, a Frenchman) had the 
temerity to change its location on the charts, with the result that endless confusion followed. 

Capt. Peter Larsen was one of the original Newfoundland fishermen. See Early Vancouver, Vol. 2 
onwards, especially conversations with W.A. Grafton and Calvert Simson. See also "Street and place 
name" cards in the West Vancouver section, and look up Copper Point, White Cliff, Bird Rock, Whyte 
Island, Fisherman's Cove. 

"North American Chinamen," 1872. 

For reference to this appellation see page 343, Ocean to Ocean, by Rev. George M. Grant, published 
1872 by Rose Belford Publishing Co., Toronto. 

A sneering reference to describe eastern Canadians used in British Columbia before the Canadian Pacific 
Railway was completed by certain British Columbians when speaking of people from eastern Canada. In 
the first civic election in Vancouver, April 1886, there were two candidates — Alexander, old time resident, 
and MacLean, recently arrived from the prairies. It is said that Alexander's use of the epithet cost him the 
mayoralty, but others say he did not use it, but, in their efforts to defeat him, his opponents said he did. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_032 


[photo annotation:] 

Greer's Beach, September 1 908. This photo is from about fifty feet west of the foot of Yew St. In the forty 
years since the tidal deposit of sand has extended its shore about one hundred feet or more to the west. 
This is almost the exact locality as portrayed in 1861 by Lieut. Willis, of H. M.S. "Ganges," a watercolour of 
unusual interest as it is the earliest known portrayal of a scene on the mainland shore of western Canada. 
Samuel Greer's cottage stood on the low mound — sand blown — where the long boat shed appears; his 
barn and water well were out of sight on the right; his orchard and garden, also milk-house were behind. 
His cows grazed in the swamp, where, in earlier days, elk had roamed. Three creeks entered this beach; 
one in the corner on right; one in the middle of beach; and a small one at far end; they almost dried up in 
summer. The Canadian Pacific Railway right-of-way is in the lower right-hand corner. It was first used as 
a resort for summer camps in the early 1 890's; became most fashionable to have a camp there, was 
renamed "Kitsilano" by the Can. Pac. Ry, and when the single track street car line commenced, on or 
about Dominion Day, 1905, proved so popular that it became crowded. "Tent Town" had two rows of 
camper's tents, with an irregular "street" of sand between them. After serving as a camp site for more 
than 1 5 years, it was discontinued, after 1 908, on account of improper sanitation, and the opening of the 
area for settlement 1 909. The forest was cut down and burned, and a black empty clearing lay where it 
had been. The C.P.R. built five fine houses — one here and there — to induce settlement. When False 
Creek was deepened in 1913, the sand was pumped on the swamp, and the muskrats & frogs in the 
slough disappeared. C.V. Be. N. 1 6. P. 24. City Archives. J.S.M. Elk once used the dark tree in centre, 
stood on north east corner. Arbutus & Whyte, Major Matthews' home, as a shelter in winter. The dry 
remains of their dung was a foot thick and yards in extent. J.S.M. 


Samuel Greer, of Greer's Beach, and Sheriff Armstrong. Destruction of Mr. 
Greer's home by Canadian Pacific Railway. 

Excerpt, letter from J. Fred Sanders, Esq., son of Alderman Edwin Sanders, pioneer, "Here before the 
Fire," 1886, from his office 509 Richards Street: 

August 4'^ 1949. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

I was so glad that you were able to get a proper newspaper write-up for Mrs. J.Z. Hall 
when she passed on. When reading of Mrs. Hall's early life [note: she was a Miss Greer] I was 
reminded of a happening of which I was a near witness. 

One day, when I was a child, my father /"-A/derman Edwin Sanders] deaded that we would 
go to a picnic at a quarry which was at the end of the C.P.R. [note: it was at tine foot of Trafalgar 
Street, on tine beacii, and tine remains are tiiere yet, 1949] at what is now Kitsilano Beach. When 
we arrived at the Greer home [note: at tine foot of Yew Street], after we had crossed the railway 
trestle across False Creek, we noticed that there was a flat car standing on the tracks and about it 
were a group of men, one of whom was recognised by my father as Sheriff Armstrong of New 

Being acquainted they had a conversation and we continued on our way west [to tine foot 
of Trafalgar Street.] We noticed nothing unusual at the time, and it may be that my father had a 
suspicion of what was about to happen as he was very conversant with civic happenings, but, if 
he had, he certainly did not tell me. 

After a very enjoyable time at the quarry, we returned home along the tracks. When we 
got to the Greer home we found it in ashes, and no trace of home nor the flat car which was there 
when we passed. We learned the story, which is now history, afterwards, and I have heard it from 
Mr. Sam Greer's own lips many times. 

Yours sincerely, 

J. Fred Sanders 

Note: the C.P.R. officials had burned Mr. Greer's home and barn, which stood 1 00 feet west of the foot of 
Yew Street, beside the creek. J.S.M. 

Hadden Park. 

Unveiling of the Memorial of stone and bronze, erected by the Board of Park Commissioners, Vancouver, 
at Hadden Park, Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, to commemorate the gift of Hadden Park to the children of 
Vancouver by the late Harvey Hadden, Esq., October 1928. The memorial was unveiled by Major J.S. 
Matthews, V.D., City Archivist, (the earliest resident, 1910-1950, in the nearby locality.) 

Major Matthews: 

Mr. Chairman, Your Worship, Mr. Reeve, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

When men, having first provided for their own as is right and proper that they should, turn aside in 
their path and devote their talents to the common weal, it is fitting and proper that they receive the 
plaudits of their fellows, that their good works be acknowledged, and others encouraged to 
emulate their example. Neglect to make an acknowledgement is ungracious and a dereliction. 
The most civilised man, and most intelligent, is he who serves his fellows most. Such a man was 
the late Mr. Hadden. He knew when to take occasion by the hand; first to provide for his own 
needs, and secondly, when to provide for the needs of others. "Vancouver has been good to me," 
said Mr. Hadden, "I should like to be good to Vancouver." 


Concealed beneath this Union Jack lies a huge boulder weighing three tons, and upon it has 
been affixed a slab of bronze bearing the inscription: 


The stone and the bronze are in themselves almost valueless, but, as symbols, together they 
constitute a memorial which will serve as a reminder to refresh the memories of all who pass by, 
perhaps to generations as yet unborn, of a good man and his good deed. I now expose it to your 

Excerpt, letter, Col. the Hon. Eric W. Hamber, C.M.G., LL.D. to Major J.S. 

(About) 15 March 1952. 

John Hendry Park. Trout Lake. D.L. 195. 

"Mr. Tisdall, who was on the Parks Board, approached me to buy it, and I told him that if it was intended 
for the Parks Board and if they named it JOHN HENDRY PARK that I would deed the property to them. 
This they undertook to do. I have it in writing. The land was given to them in the consideration that it be 
named John Hendry Park. You have the right understanding of the whole matter." 

Mrs. Mary Riter Hamilton, Vancouver, 1952. 

Exhibit of her paintings at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 1 145 West Georgia Street, by the Women's 
Auxiliary of the Vancouver Art Gallery, on Tuesday, 4 March 1 952, at 2:30 p.m. Exhibit opened by Major 
J.S. Matthews, V.D., City Archivist. 

Major Matthews: 

Madam Chairman, Mrs. Hamilton and Ladies: 

By request, I declare this exhibit open. My gratitude to the ladies of the Auxiliary is offered for the 
opportunity to do so. I am convinced that the people of Vancouver, with especial emphasis on the 
men of the Canadian Legion, the War Amps, and particularly the veterans of 1914-1918, applaud 
you for what is being done this afternoon towards one for whom they have respect and 
admiration, and whom is held as one of their own. 

We are assembled here to pay tribute to a gracious and gallant lady, Mrs. Hamilton. The tradition 
of our land is limited to the very few, and even midst the most eminent it is a very deep footprint in 
the sand which the next tide does not wash away. It is fitting and proper that those who bring 
lustre to our land should receive the plaudits of their fellows, that others may see and emulate 
their good example. 

Recently I asked a young man if he remembered the name of the general who commanded the 
Canadian troops in the first Great War. He replied, "No, sir." Then I asked if he knew who wrote 
the history of that war, and again he replied, "No, sir." I presume that if I had asked about Mrs. 
Hamilton he would have replied, "No, sir." Yet, thirty years ago all three names were on every 
tongue. General Currie fought the battles, John Buchan wrote about them, and while Lord 
Tweedsmuir was writing, Mrs. Hamilton was painting the battle scenes about which he wrote. 
That holocaust cost Canada 50,000 killed and a quarter of a million maimed. Our part cannot be 
fully understood without mention of the achievements of all three names. There are among our 
ex-soldiers those who have an admiration, almost amounting to reverence, for the gentle lady 
who had the courage, the fortitude and the perception to enter that hellfire corner called Ypres, or 
that muck heap called the Somme, in the wild and freezing winter of 1919, and make a pictorial 
record of what could be seen before the green growth of the following spring had concealed much 
of the devastation spread about in all its naked horror. She must have been the first woman in 
history to do such a thing. She must have been fully qualified or she would not have been allowed 


there. As a woman she could not fight so she did the next best thing, she portrayed the deeds of 
those who had, the one thing the soldiers could not do themselves. 

What Mrs. Hamilton depicted is true to life. I saw her "Cemetery at St. Eloi." I saw her "Sadness of 
the Somme." I sat in that sewer called "Voormezeele." I heard the ping as the shells struck the 
iron boilers of the ruined "Sugar Refinery," and, in my curiosity, I explored the inside of her 
"Abandoned Tank." 

Today we accept the British Commonwealth, the greatest structure for political good the world 
has ever know, as we accept the free air, unmindful and forgetful of the sources of our good 
fortune. Mrs. Hamilton is Canadian born, third generation U.E.L. There might never have been a 
Canada as we know it had it not been for the blood from which she is sprung, the United Empire 
Loyalists of 150 years ago. 

Mrs. Hamilton was not obscure before the First War. She was not local — her work was 
international. She had painted in Germany, Italy, Holland, Spain, and hung in the salons of 
France. She had painted the lieutenant governors of B.C. for the British Columbia government. 
Her works were possessed by the eminent of Canada, even Royalty. In 1923 more than one 
hundred of her paintings were exhibited in a gallery near Trafalgar Square, London, and she has 
exhibited in almost every great city throughout the Dominion. Today, many are cherished 
treasures of the Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa. 

To you, Mrs. Hamilton, may I be privileged to say that the secret of happiness in mature years is 
the contemplation of one's own work and to see that it is good. You must be a very happy 
woman. The only weakness might be that you appear to have been indulging in the enjoyment of 
too many summers. 

Ladies of the Auxiliary and Mr. Morris, our Curator, will you please accept our congratulations and 
our thanks for your astute wisdom in arranging this reminder of great events, great men and great 
deeds. We must not and will not forget. Now, let us go and gaze upon the handiwork of an 
accomplished lady, one who honours us with her presence, who is seated among us, and whose 
name must, forever, remain upon the roll of those who have brought fame to our country. 


At Vancouver Art Gallery, 
Tuesday, 4 March 1952, at 3:00 p.m. 

Vancouver Rugby Football Club. 

Conversation (over the telephone) with A.P. Home, Esq., pioneer, now of 4025 Granville Street South, 30 
October 1947. 

Rugby football. Brockton Point Grounds. Vancouver Rugby Football Club. Cricket. 

Mr. Home: "You are quite right in saying that had it not been for the rugby footballers, and the cricketers, 
Brockton Point Grounds would not have been developed so early as they were. I think we played more 
rugby in those days when we of Vancouver were few than we do now that we are many. I am speaking of 
1 889, 1 890, 1 891 and 1 892. One reason why there was so strong an interest was that many, perhaps 
most, of the players were young men newly arrived from the colleges and universities of the British Isles." 

Football AT Hastings. "George Black's." C.P.R. "Football Express." 

"Before Brockton Point was cleared and made ready for play, I think about May or June 1 890, we played 
at George Black's, at Hastings — football, cricket, lacrosse, bicycle racing, etc. — in the field opposite 
George Black's Brighton Hotel, a field between the C.P.R. track and the water of the inlet." 

(See photo C.V. Sp. N. 101, P. 256-7; G.N. 552-566.) 

"The way we got from Vancouver to Hastings for the matches was that the club chartered a C.P.R. train — 
fare twenty-five cents return. The railway put the train on a siding at Hastings and it waited until the match 
was over to take us back. The football club never lost any money by the train, nor did we ever make more 


than about five dollars profit. At Hastings George Black always provided the ladies with a private room 
where they could have afternoon tea. 

"There was another way to get to Hastings. When the Vancouver Street Railway Co., now the B.C. 
Electric, built their street car line on Powell Street, it went as far as Raymur Avenue, and some of us used 
to take the street car as far as there and walk the rest of the way — two miles. Vancouver was a small 
community of seven or ten thousand persons, and some of the shops would close up in the afternoon, so 
that the people could go to the football match. We practised on the Cambie Street grounds." 

Brockton Point Grounds. 

"The first match played on Brockton Point Grounds was early in 1 891 ." (He may be in error — I think 1 890. 
J.S.M.) "The match schedule for the season was made up for the season among the following clubs: 
Vancouver versus Victoria, New Westminster, Nanaimo, Nicomen Island, combined British Navy, 
individual British warships, and 'Mainland' versus 'Vancouver Island.' The British Navy at that time had 
many ships stationed at Esquimalt. Some were H.M.S. Swiftsure, Royal Arthur, Imperieuse, Amphion, 
Egeria, etc., etc. It was said that one of the best rugby football teams in that navy was at Esquimalt under 
the captaincy of Sir Richard Arbuthnot, who was in charge of the first class cruisers at the Battle of 
Jutland, where he was killed in action. Sir Richard was a very fine man and much liked by his men." 

Rugby football. 

"You can read all about it in the old Vancouver newspapers. There is a good account in the Sunday 
Province, February 8*, 1925; another in the Sunday Province, January 16**^, 1927, captioned 'Rugby of 
Thirty-six Years Ago Played Opposite George Black's Hotel near Hastings Park.' The former gives the 
players for the season 1 901 -1 902, one of the strongest teams Vancouver ever possessed — champions of 
British Columbia." 

(See photo C.V. Sp. N. 101, P. 256.) 

"All men of the finest calibre in sport or anything else." 


"Your photographs show the players' names. J.H. Bushnell was a land surveyor here many years. P.W. 
Evans was Percy Evans of Evans, Coleman and Evans. J. Laurenson came from Australia — when he 
was captain, I was vice-captain. C.H. Woodward was with the C.P.R., and a brother of R.P. 'Reggie' 
Woodward. F.W. Rounsefell was of the firm of Ceperley, Rounsefell & Co., still on Hastings Street. R.E. 
Palmer was a land surveyor here, and one of the Managers of the Tinto Mine in Spain. A. P. May I don't 
recall. A.G. Malcolm, now of Errock Lake, B.C., had played for Scotland. He was an architect and in the 
office of R.M. Mackay Fripp. R.M. Fripp was a pioneer architect, well-known. R.G. Harvey was of Loewen 
and Harvey, still in business. E.A. Quigley was 'Chubb' Quigley — very well-known athlete. F. Johnson 
was a brother of C. Gardner Johnson, whose firm is still on Hastings Street. Mclver Mclver Campbell was 
secretary of the Vancouver Club. A. McC. Creery was afterwards a member of the Legislature and 
Grandmaster of Freemasons and so was H.H. Watson, still living — both M.L.A.s and Grand Masters. H.O. 
Alexander was the magistrate, and son of R.H. Alexander of Alexander Street. F.M. Chaldecott, solicitor, 
still living, a member of the Vancouver Club. Chaldecott Road and Chaldecott Park are named after him. 
Brown was afterwards Sir George McLaren Brown, European Agent for the C.P.R. in London. And, of 
course, there was myself. 

"I don't know Draper. H. McGregor was a great lacrosse player. A.E. Swift and I. Bland — I forget their 
occupation. You will find all these names in the photographs of the rugby teams for 1 890, 1 891 and 1 892 
which you have. A. Bryan Williams, afterwards Provincial Game Warden, was a fine footballer. So was 
Roselli, splendid. And outstanding supporter of rugby was the late Col. A. St. George Hamersley, City 
Solicitor. At one time he was captain of the 'All-England' Rugby team." 

As told to me, 

J.S. Matthews 

30 October 1947. 


See photographs: 

C.V. Sp(ort). N. 19, 18, 14, 21,22, 

P. 48, 47, 10,8,9, 17; 
and "Vancouver Football Team, 1889-1890." 
Also "Westminster versus Vancouver," Easter Monday, 1887, clipping only. 

Conversation with Mr. A.P. Horne, 4025 South Granville Street, pioneer 
(November 1889), who kindly called at the City Archives this afternoon, 31 July 

He was one of the three young men who, in May 1 890, discovered the source of Capilano Creek. 

Bowen Island. Snug Cove. A.P. Horne. R.M. Fripp. Gordon T. Legg. 

Mr. Horne: "You know Joe Mannion — he was an alderman on the first City Council. I think it was 1891 — a 
year after I came. One day R.M. Fripp, Gordon T. Legg" (later manager. Union Steamships) "mentioned 
that it might be good to take a look at an island called Bowen. The three of us were talking together." 

Vancouver Boating Club. Red Cross Brewery. John Williams. 

"So the next nice summer day we went up there. There were no steamers but Legg and Fripp each had a 
sixteen-foot lapstreak varnished boat, with a small leg of mutton sail forward. One morning we started 
from the Vancouver Boating Club in Coal Harbour adjoining the western end of the C.P.R. wharf between 
Burrard and Thurlow. Access to it was a narrow passage way alongside the brewery owned by John 
Williams. There were four of us — two in each boat. We rowed through the First Narrows, picked up a 
breeze, and landed at Jericho; had lunch there, then tacked across to Howe Sound. The breeze dropped 
and we had to row, and rowed into Joe Mannion's place on Bowen Island. His house was close to the 
brickyard, and it was evening." 

Deep Bay. Joseph Mannion. Bowen Island. 

"We asked Mr. Mannion if he had an objection to our pitching a tent and camping for two or three days. 
'Why,' he replied, 'by all means. Have you had your supper? And, as to you boys pitching a tent, why not 
sleep in the barn on the hay?' Which we did, and, after our long pull, we did enjoy the rest. Early next 
morning he came to see if we were up, and said: 

'"No occasion for you to make breakfast yourself — my wife and I have got it all ready.' But we told him we 
wanted a swim first — before breakfast. That was quite satisfactory. At breakfast he told us we could take 
all our meals with Mrs. Mannion and himself if we wished, that they were the only settlers there and 
delighted to associate and converse with human beings. I don't recall any children. We stayed there two 
or three days and explored the island." 

George Grant Mackay. Stanley Park Brewery. Lost Lagoon. Chilco Street. John 

(See photo St. Pk. P. 1 15, N. 41 .) 

"George Grant Mackay, my father-in-law, put up the house. Your photo of the bridge shows it in the 
clearing and the trees beyond. He sold it and they converted it into a brewery. Then, a little further to the 
west, on one of Mr. Grant's lots, was John Oben who raised his family there. The owner and occupant of 
the property adjoining him was a French Canadian. John Oben was a great fisherman, and used to troll in 
the First Narrows." 

"Cascade Beer." 

"John Williams had his Red Cross Brewery down on Seaton Street" (Hastings Street West.) "One day he 
said to me, 'I'm going to give a fifty dollar prize for a good name for beer.' 'Cascade' was the name which 
won his prize." 



Conversation (over the phone) with Mr. A.P. Horne, 4025 Granville Street, 
PIONEER, 16 March 1954. 

"The Divine Sarah." Sarah Bernhardt. Vancouver Opera House. C.P.R. Land 
Department. A.P. Horne. H.J. Painter. Frank Robertson. John Mahon. 

Major Matthews: Mr. Horne, do you remember Sarah Bernhardt ("The Divine Sarah") being in Vancouver? 

Mr. Horne: "Yes. I engaged her. She played at the Vancouver Opera House. The Opera House belonged 
to the Canadian Pacific Railway and was under the management of the Land Department. Mr. Browning 
was in charge of the Land Department, and for about a year after I came to Vancouver I was a clerk in the 
Land Department. Others were Frank Robertson, brother of Dr. Robertson, superintendent of the City 
Hospital, and also H.J. Painter, afterwards City Assessor. It was our responsibility to get performances for 
the Opera House, and we engaged Sarah Bernhardt for one of them. She was here two days and one 

Major Matthews: When was that? Do you recall what she played? 

Mr. Horne: I was with the Land Department for about a year — it must have been in 1 891 . What she 
played I don't recall now. She was very temperamental. I was backstage and saw her go into her dressing 
room. Her maid was there and she shouted at her maid and threw herself about. Then she went on the 
stage again and was the mildest lady imaginable. You would not think she had any temper at all. She was 
rather small, but a wonderful actress. She was beautiful as an actress. 

Major Matthews: Do you recall if anyone took her for a sea trip anywhere? 

Mr. Horne: "Yes. John Mahon did. He had a little steam yacht, of 25 or 30 feet length — nice little thing — 
no cabin, no canopy, all open; burned wood or coal, I suppose. He took her up the North Arm one 

Major Matthews: Did they go as far as Granite Falls? 

Mr. Horne: "I don't know." 

Major Matthews: We have a lot of photographs of Granite Falls, taken about 1 890 or 1 891 by Bailey of 
Bailey Bros. I have looked them over but I could not say, positively, that any of them are of the Bernhardt 
boat party. It was a favourite resort for the Vancouver Boating Club. 

Mr. Horne: "I cannot remember, but I know John Mahon did take her for a trip up the inlet one afternoon. 

"After the performance that evening, she invited us to supper, but we apologised and said we had to close 
up the evening's affairs in the office and about the Opera House. Of course, she spoke in French." 

Sarah Bernhardt and Vancouver Opera House. 

The Vancouver Opera House was opened 9 February 1891. 

Excerpt from Campbell Sweeny diary. 

Sept. 21 ^ 1891. Sarah Bernhardt in "Feodora" and on 22"^^ in "La Tosca." 


In the "Vancouver Opera House" docket in City Archives is an original programme, printed, on the 
outside, "VANCOUVER OPERA HOUSE," a tiny signed photograph of Sarah Bernhardt, and at the base 
is printed " Mdme Sarah Bernhardt ." 

The programme, inside, is printed "Sept. 21 ^' and Sept. 22"^^, 1 891 ," but the cast of characters is for La 
Tosca only. 

We are without a programme for "Feodora." 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_033 


[photo annotation:] 

Vancouver City Hospital, 1902. Beatty, Pender, Cambie streets, and lane, photo taken looking south 
west. Twenty nurses. Miss Margaret Clendenning, Lady Superintendent. Owned by City of Vancouver, 
and operated as civic department until 1902, when it was incorporated as "Vancouver General Hospital." 
Vacated as a hospital, January 1905, and moved to Fairview. The white square on left is an outside cloth 
blind to diminish glare in operating room. The tall building directly behind is staff offices, pharmacy, 
private wards, women's ward, dining room, and kitchen. It was erected in 1897. The main building on 
right, erected several years earlier, contained surgical wards below, and medical wards above. It was an 
exceptionally well equipped establishment surrounded with neat green lawns and beautiful flowers. After 
1905 it was used, successively, as old peoples' home, creche, McGill University college and Social 
Services Dept offices. On the evening of 18 Nov. 1949, largely attended reception was held as a farewell 
to the old place, soon to be demolished, and its site converted into parking accommodation for motor 
cars. Its condition is a tribute to the builder. City Archives. J.S.M. 

The City Hospital, 1902 re an excerpt, Annual report, 1948, Vancouver General 

27'^ April, 1948. 


A printed circular, apparently issued by the Woman's Auxiliary, General Hospital, Apr. 
1948, quotes as follows: 

"The Vancouver General Hospital was incorporated 1902 ... took over ... City Hospital ... 
on Cambie St. and had a capacity of 35 beds." 

This may be a misprint; it may mean 135 beds. From my own personal knowledge the 
capacity in September 1902 was 

Main building, 4 wards, each 12 beds 48 beds 

Private rooms (8) 8 beds 

Elderly men, approx. 40 beds 

Women and Children ward, approx. ^ beds 

Total 126 beds 

In addition there was the Maternity institution which was in a separate building 
somewhere up towards Burrard street. Beginner nurses were trained there. I do not know how 
many beds. 

In 1902, the population of Vancouver was, approx., 30,000 — perhaps 35,000 — I have not 
looked up. It is not reasonable that the City Hospital serving a community of that number would 
have 35 beds only. Further, the new hospital plans were well under way and it is not reasonable 
to suppose that the accommodation contemplated was to increase from a mere 35 beds to that 
provided by the first General Hospital buildings still standing as built a year or so later — about 
1 905. The 'trouble' with these imperfect figures is that they are quoted by students of history in 
Vancouver, and, being incorrect, the students suffer in their examinations. 

With best wishes. 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

The Secretary 

Board of Directors, I was a patient for 1 3 weeks. 

Vancouver General Hospital JSM 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_034 


[photo annotation:] 

"Tom Turner's," now North Vancouver, circa 1 892. Foot of Chesterfield Ave. It was the birthplace of North 
Vancouver. A popular resort for pioneer picnics in an adjoining field of grass in a grassless land. The 
shore of Burrard Inlet was in front & the Union Jack flew above; all else was forest, save "The Mission," 
Indian settlement to the west. William Bridge, pre-emption record 667, Apr. 2, 1 869, (D.L. 271 , 1 60 acres) 
wrote: "On the north shore, one mile west of Moody's Mill." Crown grant, 30 April 1883, to James Charles 
Provost, administrator of estate. Bridge lived there before 1869. On May 22, 1869, John Deighton, "Gassy 
Jack," applied, P.R. 674, for "20 acres, bounded on the east by land of William Bridge." Bridge was an old 
English sailor who had left his ship. He had an Indian wife & children. He planted orchard, made little 
garden, created a pasture for cows, made splendid little farm, and sold milk. He is buried there on his own 
land. His nephew, Tom Turner, inherited it. The cottage of board & batten with cedar shake roof, stood 
approx. 200 yards west of Lonsdale Av. Tom Turner supplied Moodyville with vegetables, and Hastings 
Sawmill with milk. He was very patriotic, very British, and finally went back to England. North Vancouver, 
as incorporated, 1 Aug. 1 891 , extended from North Arm, Burrard Inlet to Howe Sound. Nomination of 
candidates, Nov. 7, 1 891 . At subsequent election eight votes were cast. By-election, 9* Nov. 1 891 . About 
1902, Pete Larsen built his notable first hotel above this orchard; famous for Sunday afternoon crowds. 
Later destroyed by fire. During the war, 1 939-1 945, scores of vessels were built & launched here. The 
shack on left is believed to be Bridge's original shack; that on right with brick chimney, more recent. 
Ventilator of barn seen in rear. C.V. Out. P. 225; Stark's small glass negative. J.S.M. City Archives. J.S.M. 





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Item # EarlyVan_v7_035 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_036 


[illustration annotation:] 

"Gassy Jack," of "Gastown," opens his saloon, 1 867 

Capt. John Deighton, alias "Gassy Jack," in a homely speech upon completion of his first saloon, telling 
his voluntary helpers that the Union Jack represents all that is good; that it has been his chum for forty 
years, and that he has pinned his faith to it. It stood upon the beach, now Water Street. 

An artist's conception by Wilson, published "Sun" newspaper, April 8, 1940, and founded on a sketch in 
"Early Vancouver," Vol. Ill, page 75 [of original volume], Matthews. City Archives, Vancouver. 

North Vancouver's first hotel (downtown business section). 

The first hotel on the north shore of Burrard Inlet may have been the Moodyville Hotel, or "Tom Turner's." 
Both were very early. 

Mrs. Walter C. Green, eldest daughter of Charles A. Mee, pioneer. North Vancouver, 1 894, has drawn a 
ground plan of "Tom Turner's" barroom. Must have been a very homey place. 

(See photo of Tom Turner's Cottage — for exterior. See "North Vancouver, early settlers," Matthews, 

But William Bridge's had that place before Turner and he set up a bar very early. 

The case is similar to John Deighton, i.e., "Gassy Jack" in Granville. Both in the same class. Wild, 
primitive surroundings. John Deighton built a shack for a saloon for sailors of ships at the Hastings 
Sawmill. Bridge did the same thing for the sailing ships at Moodyville, a sort of "out of bounds" place 
where sailors could do as they liked without interference from the sawmill management, who feared fire if 
they got drunk and reckless. 

J.S. Matthews. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_037 


[illustration annotation:] 

The pioneer gasoline station of Canada. 

(probably of the world) 

Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Perspective Drawing by John Innes 

Erected by the Imperial Oil Company Limited. S.W. Corner Cambie and Smythe Sts. Vancouver, summer 
of 1908. Copyright J.S.M. 

Corrugated iron shed. J.C. Rollston, first attendant with garden hose filling pipe, no nozzle. 

Painted May 1933 from sketch, page 307 [of original volume], "EARLY VANCOUVER" Vol. 2. Major J.S. 
Matthews in City Archives, Vancouver, who owns painting. 

Erected by the Imperial Oil Company Limited, summer 1908, south east corner Cambie & Smythe Sts. 


First gasoline service station in America. 

Dear Mr. Westover: 

18* Sept. 1947. 

I have your letter and the "CONSTRUCTION WORLD," Aug. 1947 in which, page 28, 
there appears 


with illustrations and narrative, in part, " opened for business on the site of the world's first 'filling 
station,' built by the Standard Oil Co., just 40 years ago ." And then you go on to say that you have 
always been under the impression the Imperial Oil Co., Limited tank on Smythe St. was the first, 
and would like to have my comments. 

My comment would be that " It's just those Americans again ," and my thoughts are that so 
long as it is mere Americans no harm will befall us. No better neighbors to Canada could exist, 
and if they like to believe themselves first in peace and first in war, let them. Every nation has its 
weakness. Theirs is that without their morning shock, life in the United States would not be 
bearable. British and Canadians prefer the beer — Uncle Sam prefers the froth on it. 

We had been selling Atlantic Red oil and Renown Engine oil to the Hastings Sawmill for 
years — selling direct, and when Mr. Hendry, the manager, got what was called, in those days, an 
"automobile" — no motor cars then — his storekeeper called me on the phone and asked if we had 
the kind of gasoline good for automobiles. I reply "Yes." We had "74 degree." We had "D.S. 
Gasoline," and we had "benzine," which was used for lacquering salmon cans at the canneries. 
He asked which was the best and I replied "74," so he said send a couple of five-gallon cans of 
that. I shall never forget because I was alone, young, and no-one to consult, but I had read of 
automobiles in the monthly magazines. 

Soon Mr. Hendry's car tires got into trouble, so he took his car to the bicycle shop on 
Hastings near Columbia Ave. There he got some gasoline and some lubricating oil, but their price 
was plus their profit, and Mr. Hendry and his purchasing agent were aghast when the account 
came in. 

The next time I called at the bicycle shop I was received with shouts, but not of applause. 
In the meantime another pioneer repair man had started on Granville St. near Smythe, and soon I 
was in trouble with him, too. I tried to be "nice," but the Imperial Oil, in their opinions, were a 
"rotten" firm — they sold gasoline and lubricating oil direct to the user. Things got bad. New motor 
cars were coming in. The motorists were "kicking" at the price of gasoline, which was sold to the 
dealer in iron drums for twenty cents a gallon, and retailed at forty cents, until the Granville St. 
man cut the price and affixed a great cotton banner across his store fagade reading "GASOLINE 
350"; a profit of fifteen cents for taking the gasoline out of the iron drum and putting it in the motor 
car tank. 

Next, the garage men began to condemn our lubricating oil. No matter what went 
wrong — even if a tire bust — it was caused by the poor "Imperial" Oil. We could not sell our 
lubricating oil. Though we bought gasoline from Whiting, Ind., after digging it out of the well, 
refining it, transporting it, delivering it, and making a profit, all for twenty cents, and the garage 
man got fifteen cents for drawing it out of a faucet, there was nothing we could do which was 
good. We were a very very bad lot. Nobody loved us. So one day, in despair, I asked Mr. Rolston, 
the manager, to come with me to the Granville Street place and he did. We had no sooner got 
inside than Mr. Rolston was "attacked." He waited a moment or so until the barrage was over and 
then bolted, with me after him. We walked back down Smithe Street and we passed the Pioneer 
Laundry. He and I were silent in thought. Suddenly I blurted out, "Well, can I do it?" He replied, 
"Yes." I asked "When?" His reply was "When you like." 


Next morning, passing tine present Victory Square, I saw an open motor car cliugging 
upliill, liailed liim, jumped up and sat, out in tine open, in tlie front seat. I told tine driver tliat lie 
could get gasoline down at the plant for twenty cents. He was amazed — said he would be down 
that afternoon. I got out and walked down to Smithe St. warehouse and was astonished to see 
him there before me. Bud Mulligan, the foreman, came out of the yard and yelled at me "Did you 
tell this fellow he could get gasoline here?" My reply was "Yes, the boss said so." So Bud filled 
five or ten gallons, as best he could with a wide-lipped five gallon pail and a huge funnel, into the 
vent in the tank under the front seat after first removing the seat. There was some slop as a rule. 
The heavy five-gallon pail, the huge funnel and the small opening of the tank were not conducive 
of precise pouring. And the slop was dangerous. Presently "the news" spread and soon every 
motor car in town was down (there were only a few — ten or twelve), drove into the yard, blocked 
the loading platform for the "low-hung" trucks, frightened the horses and generally made a 
nuisance of themselves. "Bud" Mulligan swore and took the law in his own hands. He closed the 
wide wooden double gates, and, with a marking brush on a box lid, painted " Automobiles filled in 
the street ," affixed it to one half gate, and locked both together. This had the disadvantage that 
the men had to carry two heavy five-gallon pails of gasoline all through the warehouse, up the 
yard and out into the street, and there was a question of measurement when the motor car tanks 
could not take all in the pail. 

"Bud," to save his men work, then ran a pipe out to the wooden fence along the street, 
just where your front door is now (East of Gamble St. on Smithe), connected it with the bulk 
storage tank and put a valve on the end, and for a day or two, pails were filled from the end of the 
pipe projecting through the fence. But we soon saw that would not do. 

At that time Shaughnessy, Kitsilano, east Grandview, was still standing forest, and, in the 
proximity of Gamble and Smithe street were many residences and children — one of them might 
interfere with the valve, which, though locked, might be twisted off. Then we (it was mostly Bud) 
got the Italian pipefitter to make a corrugated iron protection and put it over the vale on the end of 
the pipe. But, while "Monty" was doing that the idea of a kitchen tank was conceived. "Monty" was 
handy with tools and before long he had a kitchen tank on top of the board fence. That lasted a 
day or two until the "boss," Mr. Rolston, came along and wouldn't "stand for it." He must have told 
Mr. Mulligan to build a small shelter, with an open sliding door on the street, put the tank on a 
concrete pillar, and at night lock the sliding door and in the morning open it. 

J.G. Rollston (not Rolston) was uncle to G.M. Rolston, manager, and was 
nightwatchman. He was not well — was very pale. We decided he must have sunshine. So we 
took him off the night watchman's job and put him in what was now elevated to the dignity of "The 
Filler ." I got him an old chair. Mrs. Matthews made him a cushion, and he sat all morning in the 
sun, with the board sidewalk at his feet, the hay growing in the gutter of macadamed Smithe 
street waiting for the automobile which never came. I have passed and he would remark, with 
much gratification, "I've had two this morning." The automobile drove up, with its Presto-lite tank 
on the running board, remove the front seat, and Mr. Rollston would seize the end of his garden 
hose. The glass gauge of the thirteen-gallon kitchen tank would show the gasoline mark slowly 
falling. There would be a shout "Shut her off," and then Mr. J.G. Rollston would drain what was 
left in the garden hose into the motor tank by squeezing the hose between his thumb and finger. 
He was most punctilious that the motorist got the last drop. 

All went well until motor cars got more numerous and there came the first holiday. May 
24*^ or July 1 ^', when there was a rush of the few there were. Mr. Rollston was slow and the 
motorists in a hurry. Some caustic remarks were made, usually something most uncomplimentary 
to the "damned monopoly." At the time the Union Oil had not arrived. The Imperial was the only 
source for gasoline. 

The Galifornia oil wells were coming in and it was not long before agents for automobiles, 
abetted by the garage men, interviewed other oil producers in the south. The first opposition 
wormed its way into favor with the garage men by giving the garage one cent commission on 
sales. Then when a second oil firm arrived they repeated the formula by offering two cents. When 
the third came another cent was added to the price, and each time the consumer was "soaked." 


Every time a new gasoline competitor arrived tine consumer paid another cent, which cent went to 
the garage man until it finally grew into five cents. 

When filling stations first operated they filled gasoline only. In 1918 there were only about 
four or five — Columbia St., Gamble and Smithe, Seventh and Main, Broadway and Granville. 
Later there was a small one at 12*^ at Granville, and had that method of delivery of gasoline to 
motorists remained those persons would not now be paying, indirectly, the cost of garage 

But, to return to the "CONSTRUCTION WORLD," no one knows, nor will they ever know, 
whether Seattle or Vancouver was first. I am a principal in the inauguration of bulk gasoline 
delivery in Vancouver. It grew out of my suggestion as we passed the Pioneer Laundry. What day 
that was I do not know (nor even the month) save that it was summer. I, at least, knew nothing of 
Seattle's doings — never heard of their early tank until ten years ago. So far as Vancouver was 
concerned we were spontaneous. When the directors from Sarnia came out they were told, 
walked out to look at the curiosity, paraded around it, made some remarks, and went back to our 
office in the Loo Building, Hastings and Abbott St. We got letters from all over the United States 
asking how we "ran it." I distinctly recall one from Florida. 

My personal belief is that Vancouver had the first "filling station" for motor cars, but I have 
heard that Seattle did have a garden hose pipe hanging over the edge of their dock, that is the 
Standard Oil Co. (John MacLean, or McLean, manager), Seattle, and that they filled gasoline 
launches that way before Vancouver did, and it is quite reasonable because we hadn't any dock. 

I can, of my own knowledge and for historical purposes, declare on oath if need be, that 
the Smithe street filling station of the Imperial Oil Co., Limited was an original idea conceived on 
the ground and grew by progressive stages to a kitchen tank, thirteen imperial gallons, glass 
gauge fitted by "Monty," the Italian pipe-fitter; painted red, on a concrete pedestal; in a corrugated 
iron shelter about 10' x4' x 6'; with sliding door 10'; the outside painted red; no sign save "NO 
SMOKING" on the door; a wood plank sidewalk; hay and grass in the gutter. And so continued for 
about two or more years, when a second tank was put up — then three, four and five — until finally 
dismantled some time after the war ended in 1918. 

A painting of this garage, by John Innes, the celebrated Canadian scenic painter, is in 
this City Archives. The original tank on a false pedestal of wood (the original concrete one having 
been lost somehow) is now on the 9* Floor, City Hall, unchanged save that, originally, it had a 
globe valve whereas that type was soon changed to a Lukenheimer vale. 

My further comment is that, after so many years, it is rather late for Seattle to now claim 
priority. However, it's " Only those Americans, again. Let them take joy out of it ." 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

G. Westover, Esq., 
Imperial Oil Limited, 


Hasting 5 "^ C amkig St:s,sumTner tap6. The centr e oj Vancouv&t. Qy, irtife left , outof^si9hb,t:hp Cnirtt Koiise, 
beff>TP which/m Sepb. l9Qi,a Irrillia Tit welcome was atcofded. T.RH TheDtitee -^TlLichess nt Ccrf-n^nW and 

1905 1900 , W f. 

celehrated thP. TleVie^ n| Tria l e k.i-ng,wi|-h q hugp honpe whkK fa ufnpd a^Pnt- h aIp i-ruth£TTPw wnn.-j 
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n.||icp nj )-he "iTupgtinl "Bank ej Ponndo.' was onthi;^ Ca¥Tief.'B.,ileimg=. h Unp . di stn-ncp. iTicludpn-BriPp^ Ho.ll^ Trt.sK 
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vjglkmg p&T-miti:e<:f;bhe woYd-nah k-nnwn. T wo oict'n^pk.eA jpa^e-m^.TJc^e^ fpAUncj in-middlf 'Aj •^tipft . " ' 
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Photo pTEse-nlled/ciTi. 


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Item # EarlyVan_v7_038 


[photo annotation: 

Hastings & Cambie Sts, summer 1 896. The centre of Vancouver. On the left, out of sight, the Court 
House, before which, in Sept. 1901, a brilliant welcome was accorded T.R.H. The Duke & Duchess of 
Cornwall and York, afterwards King George and Queen Mary. Here, in the centre of the street, in the 
spring of 1900, we celebrated the Relief of Mafeking, with a huge bonfire which burned a great hole in the 
new wood block pavement. No street cars east of here; all street cars turn down Cambie St to Cordova 
street, the principal retail shopping street. On left. Inns of Court Building, where, at the corner of Hamilton 
& Hastings streets, L.A. Hamilton drove a stake, and commenced to survey the forest into streets and 
blocks. The first office of the "Imperial Bank of Canada" was on this corner. Buildings in the distance 
include O'Brien's Hall, Post Office; the Pacific Business College was the first commercial school. On the 
corner, a wooden building is the famed "Arcade," with thirteen small shops, cutting through corner from 
Hastings to Cambie St. The first office of the "Great Northern Railway" is on the corner — behind the street 
car. Street car fares, five cents; no tickets. The "Arcade" was built about Dec. 1 895. "Meet you in the 
Arcade" was a common expression. Wood plank side walk; think street was macadam, replaced, 1 900, 
with wood biks. Left hand "rule of the road." No traffic lights; jay walking permitted; the word not known. 
Two oxen, yoked, passing. Dog resting in middle of street. Electric arc light street lights, attended to daily 
by man in buggy. Eleven cross arms on telephone poles. Photo presented, Jan. 1954, by W.B. Wellwood, 
Victoria, son of second lighthouse keeper at Pt Atkinson. City Archives J. S.M. See photo Str. N. 115, P. 
184. Four wheels only on street; open platform both ends; unheated; seats lengthwise. 

Imperial Oil Limited. 

Unveiling of bronze memorial plaque to mark the site where stood the first gasoline filling station for 
automobiles in Canada, at southeast corner of Cambie and Smithe streets, Vancouver, Thursday, 8 
September 1955 at 10:00 a.m. 

Major Matthews, City Archivist: 

In 1898 The Imperial Oil Company had a small office on Cordova Street, and an old railway 
construction shed beside the tracks near Heatley Avenue for a warehouse. The British Columbia 
Oil Company was here, behind us, a brick warehouse and one storage tank for coal oil — the only 
storage tank in all British Columbia. 

About the last day of the year 1 898 a telephone message came to our office from the British 
Columbia Oil saying they had just received a telegram instructing them to check our stock. We 
were still in a state of amazement when a telegram from our own headquarters in Winnipeg came 
instructing us to check theirs. The British Columbia Oil Company ceased and the Imperial office 
on Cordova Street was moved here. In 1899 the Imperial Oil in British Columbia had an office 
staff of two, the manager, Mr. Averill, and his general attorney, that was me, a young clerk, for 
when anything was wanted it was "James, come here," or "James, go there." I typed his letters, 
answered the telephone, made out the invoices, kept the stock book, acted as cashier, swept the 
office and cleaned the ashes out of the stove. Mr. CM. Rolston was our only salesman. 

Cambie Street was a country road with a crop of hay in both gutters, and so was Smithe Street. 
Small trees covered the land as far as the Larwill Bus Station in one direction, and the C.P.R. 
Roundhouse on Drake Street in the other. The shore of False Creek, since filled in to make the 
railway yards, was close, it was just behind. 

Some years after a telephone call from the Hastings Sawmill asked if we had any gasoline 
suitable for automobile use. I explained that we had four gallon cans only and of three kinds. 
Benzine used by salmon canners for cutting their lacquer; another called deodorised stove used 
by plumbers in their fire pots, and a third called 74 sold to dry cleaners. The first gasoline ever 
sold to an automobile owner in British Columbia was a four gallon can of 74 Baume. Later they 
phoned again, asking if we had any automobile oil. I was alone in the office — had no one to 
consult — had never seen an automobile but had read of them in magazines. So I went into the 
warehouse and said, "Bud, take the label off a can of Atlantic Red and stencil if 'Automobile Oil.'" 
That was the first four gallons of automobile oil ever sold in this province. 


Automobiles were increasing — tliere were five or six of tliem in Vancouver. Wood barrels were a 
failure and would not hold so volatile a liquid as gasoline. They arrived half empty, so we were 
delighted when a box car of fifty-six steel barrels, a new invention, arrived. Soon after a small 
horizontal storage tank was erected — the second storage tank for petroleum products in all 
B.C. — and after that our gasoline arrived in tank cars from Whiting, Indiana. The first automobile 
repairs were done at a bicycle shop on Hastings Street near Columbia. Then a second one was 
started on Granville Street, where the Vogue Theatre is now. It was a mere shed with an open 
front end, and at the back, a steel barrel with a tap lay on its side and the gasoline drawn off into 
a bucket as beer is into a jug. 

The Imperial was the only firm in British Columbia which sold gasoline, and we sold for twenty 
cents. The garage sold for thirty-five, a nice profit for turning a tap, and we protested. The 
garageman retaliated by disparaging our motor oils, and the fight was on, long and bitter. 
According to them our Zeroline, now Polarine, would score your cylinder walls, break the piston 
rings, crack your crank shaft. It was so vile an oil it would even affect your personal reputation. 
One man said to me, "You've go the mon-o-po-ly," and when I queried, "What's that?" he 
repeated it. Thank goodness you no longer suffer from the mon-o-po-ly. My efforts were 
hopeless — I could not sell our automobile oil, and finally Mr. Rolston decided to come and see for 

A torrent of abuse assailed us as we entered Leicester's humble garage on Granville Street. Mr. 
Rolston listened calmly, turned on his heel, and I followed. Not a word was spoken. 

We walked, silently, side by side, down this street, Smithe Street, until after a couple of blocks 
and as we passed the Pioneer Laundry I ventured to ask, "What shall I do?" Mr. Rolston replied, 
"Start." I said, "When?" and he said, "Now." That was how the first gasoline service station in 
Canada began. 

Next morning I stood on the curb in front of the old Court House, now Victory Square. An open 
top automobile came chugging up Hastings Street towards me. I hailed it and jumped into the 
empty seat beside the driver. I told him he could get gasoline at the warehouse for twenty cents — 
quite a reduction from thirty-five — and he replied, "I'll be down this afternoon." I got out and 
started to walk, but when I entered the gate, which stood just here on my right, to the warehouse 
yard, he was there before me. Bud, the foreman, splendid man who had walked over the Rockies 
when the C.P.R. was built, roared at me, "Say, did you tell this man ..." and I answered, "Yes — 
the Boss said so." 

The news soon spread. Automobiles drove into the yard and got mixed with the horses. Bud 
closed the gate, and put up a sign, "Automobiles filled in the street." 

It was hard work carrying two five-gallon pails and a big funnel to the middle of the street every 
time a motor car came, so Bud go the idea of a half inch pipe to the wooden street fence, and 
with a valve on the end. It was a little dangerous, and was an expedient which lasted a few days 
only. Our nightwatchman, Mr. J.C. Rollston (spelt with two Ls), uncle to the manager, was ill — his 
face pale and wan — so the idea of building a little corrugated iron shelter, about ten feet wide and 
five feet deep, was conceived, and putting Mr. Rollston in charge — the first service station 
attendant in this Dominion. Monte, the mechanic made a concrete base and set this thirteen 
gallon kitchen hot water tank on top, and fitted a length of rubber garden hose. I found a bar-room 
chair and my wife made a cushion for Mr. Rollston to sit upon. 

The fresh air and the sunshine soon banished the pallor from his cheeks, and, ofttimes as I 
passed and waved, "Good morning," he would answer, "I've been busy this morning." "How 
many?" I would call and he would answer back, "Three this morning." Three, in all British 

I am proud of what you have done today, and my old associates would be proud. There were five 
of us. Mr. Rolston who authorised it; myself, your first clerk, who suggested it; Bud Mulligan, your 
first foreman, who supervised; Monte, your first mechanic, who built it; and Mr. J.C. Rollston, your 
first service station attendant. Alas, save myself, all gone, but I can feel their presence, and I 


hope you can, standing here beside me all in a row, watching you and smiling in the warmth of 
their pleasure and pride in the tribute you are paying them — proud of you as their successors. It is 
a little wondrous that, half a century later, and upon the exact spot, your corporation, the Imperial 
Oil Limited, now grown great, deigns to mark with a bronze memorial the site of their first feeble 

Note: owing to temporary indisposition, the above speech was not delivered by Major Matthews in 
person, but was tape recorded so efficiently as not to reveal his absence. In his stead. Alderman George 
T. Cunningham removed the Union Jack, unveiled the plaque, and made a short eloquent speech. 

[Letter from Jack Birt.] 

imperial oil limited 

718 Granville Street 
Vancouver, British Columbia. 

J.C. Birt Room s 720-721 

Field Representative Birks Building 

September 13, 1955. 

Major J. S. Matthews, File: Pe3. 

City Archivist, 

City Hall, 

Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

Thank you for loaning us a copy of your speech at our 75'^ anniversary celebration. We 
have now made several copies for ourselves and are returning it to you for your records. 

Yours very truly. 

Jack Birt 



The Cleric and the Devil. 

A cleric, fired with unctuous ire, was preaching to the people; 
Exhorting them to shun the evil one and all his ways; 
And witness that the devil, from a niche beneath the steeple. 
Was listening interestedly, in open-mouthed amaze. 

As deeper still and deeper raged the denunciations; 

Great tears rolled down poor Satan's cheeks, and sorrow filled his cup; 

He moaned, "If I'm responsible for all those depredations, 

I shall repent, and give the whole damnation business up." 

So, when the sermon ended, to the vestry room he hurried. 
To tell of his repentant state, with many a moan and sob. 
The cleric paled, and stuttered out in accents weak and worried, 
"Pray do not be so radical, or I shall lose my job." 

Then Satan, with sardonic yell, puffed out in sulphurous vapor; 

All hell's hot halls re-echoed as he roared upon his way. 

He called for carbon pencils, and some thick asbestos paper. 


And he jotted down a moral, reading thus: NO HELL, NO PAY. 

John Innes. 

John Innes, a most celebrated painter in oils of Canadian historical scenes, had, in 1934, a studio and 
office at 602 Province Building, Victory Square, Vancouver. On a wall was stuck a yellowing clipping. It 
was a print-sketch in black and white — cartoon in character — by Mr. Innes. He told me that it, together 
with the poem, had been published, years previously, by a journal which employed him in some eastern 
United States city — perhaps New York. 

It depicted a cleric, with bishop's sleeves, preaching with vigour high in a pulpit in the distant end of the 
church to the congregation below him while Satan, with cloven hoof, horns and forked tail, near at hand in 
the belfry, was listening intently and excitedly making grimaces. 

The fact that it was the work of so celebrated an artist prompted me to ask Mr. Innes to write out the 
words, which he did on this slip of paper. I cannot approve of it and preserved it for historical reasons 

J.S. Matthews 

City Archives, 
City Hall, 



Compiled from 

Street and place names, Vancouver and Vicinity 


A brief report compiled for 

Captain W.J. Twiss, Cates Bay, 

Hood Point, Bowen Island. 


City Archives, 

City Hall 




From "Indian Villages and Landmarks," Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound, Matthews, Early Vancouver, Vol. 


Authority: August Jack Khahtsahlano. 

"Kwumch-nam, that's Hood Point; a bald lump, no trees, which at high tide is an island; at low tide 
connected to Bowen Island. Kwumch-name means 'a noise' — as when stamping the heel; it's the waves 
at Hood Point which does that." 


Authority: August Jack Khahtsahlano. 

"Qwhel-hoom? That's Deep Cove." (Actually both Deep Cove and Snug Cove.) "It means 'calm.' It's a 
bay. It's always calms there — no wind." 


Authority: Capt. Cates, North Vancouver, 22 August 1939. 

"Invercraig? Where's Invercraig? Why that's the bay below Hood Point, Bowen Island. My uncle John" 
(Cates) "used to own that place. How long has it been called Invercraig? Well, for twenty-five years that I 
know of, anyway. Don't know why it got that name." 

Authority: Capt. John Cates Qunior), 28 August 1939. 


"I have been trying to remember, and now recall that there used to be a big sign board on the hotel, 
'INVERCRAIG'— or one of the buildings." 

Major Matthews: Was that the name of the hotel; I thought they called it the "Howe Sound Hotel"? 

Capt. Gates: "They might have, but the painted name on the big board was 'INVERCRAIG.'" 

Authority: Miss M.I. Keith, 1400 Beach Avenue, daughter of J. C. Keith, Esq., first manager of the first 
bank in Vancouver, the Bank of British Columbia; 31 August 1939. 

Miss Keith: "It was an hotel. Father and Mother both owned Hood Point. Originally it was bought from the 
two young Simpsons, and then — I don't know exactly how it was — but Mr. Newland wanted to put up an 
hotel, and the hotel was built, and I don't know how, but the hotel came back on Father's hands, and then 
we used it as a summer home, and we called it 'Invercraig' because it was 'between the rocks.' We had a 
little gas boat which we named the Invercraig. She was forty-five feet long and is still running — 
somewhere up north — and on commercial work." 


Supplemental to Miss Keith's remarks: 

I (J.S. Matthews) explained to Miss Keith how Capt. Cates, senior, had rescued Mr., Mrs. and Miss 
Maggie Mannion, of Deep Cove, Bowen Island, from drowning when their boat, or yacht, capsized off 
Navvy Jack's Point, just outside the First Narrows, West Vancouver, and that when Mr. Joseph Mannion 
sold his estate at Deep Cove, (now Union Steamship Co.'s resort) he would sell to none other than his 
rescuer, Capt. Cates. In consequence, Capt. Cates was, for a time, interested in two localities. Then he 
established the "Terminal Farm" at Deep Cove and Snug Cove, and Hood Point ceased as a pioneer 
tourist hotel and resort. Deep and Snug coves took its place. 

District Lot 823. John and William Simpson. 

Conversation with Mrs. Raley, nee Simpson, sister-in-law of the Rev. G.H. Raley, D.D., pioneer Indian 
missionary, in 1948 living on Olympic Street, Vancouver, 5 September 1939. 

Mrs. Raley: "John and William Simpson were my brothers." (See Simpson docket.) "William moved to 
Gambler Island in 1888. My sister married Chief Architect David Ewart, Public Works, Ottawa. John and 
William camped on the corner of Gore Avenue and Hastings Street before 'The Fire' of 1 3"^ June 1 886. 
John was appointed Justice of the Peace at Kootenay, 6*^ July 1907; served as Chief Constable at 
Greenwood, Princeton, Allenby, Poplar Creek, Kaslo, and Burnaby Lake. It was Dr. Aylwin who was living 
with Jack at Hood Point. John was a Royal Arch freemason. 

"John and William ran from the camp at Gore and Hastings Street, carrying mattress and baggage. The 
fire was approaching. One of them had the mattress over his head an the other, following behind, noticed 
that a spark had settled on it and it was on fire." 

Directory, published March 1885: "John Simpson, logger, Moodyville." 

Captain Bridgman's Cut-off. 

Capt. Bridgman was a pilot at the Pilotage, Skunk Cove, now Caulfields, appointed 1 901 ; died 1 904; 
father of E.H. Bridgman, of North Vancouver, and afterwards Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs, 
Victoria. There is a Bridgman Point, West Vancouver. 

Captain Bridgman's Cut-off, so-called jocularly, is a passage (dry at low water) between Hood Point and 
Bowen Island. One night, Capt. Bridgman, senior, in command of the tug Mamie, whilst proceeding 
towards Vancouver, saw the Point Atkinson Light shining, made course towards it, and ran ashore on the 
low land, covered with water at high tide, between the mainland of Bowen Island and the small Finisterre 
Island adjoined to it at low water. The good captain's contemporaries promptly dubbed it his "Cut-off," and 
he "never heard the last of it." 

"STRAITS OF Magellan." 

Just an old nickname for the passage, passable at high tide only, between the little island and Bowen 
Island. Very boisterous place in winter; strong tides, and strong "Squamish" winds. 


Gates Bay. 

Excerpt: "The Log of Spratt's Ark," Capt. Gates, master, 1 891 (May 1 7*). "1 7*. Sunday. I came back from 
my ranch on How Sound." (Note by JSM: Capt. Gates did not spell well.) 

Excerpt, letter. Department of Lands, Survey Branch, Victoria, 8 September 1939, their file 34275-S, "... 
enclosing plan D.L. 823 and Gates Gove. We find that Gates Bay is noted on the Land Registry plan of 
Bowen Island, 18-T. 182 in this office ..."etc. "The recommendation, namely GATES BAY was accepted, 
minutes. Geographic Board of Ganada, Ottawa, Dec. 7*, 1937, page 10, and will appear on published 
Vancouver North sheet." 

PocA Bay. 

Gonversation, W.A. Grafton, pioneer (see his docket), 15 September 1942. 

Mr. Grafton: "The Japanese built a schooner there. There was quite a lot of Japs building the schooner. 
They whip-sawed their lumber. When the Japs first came they whip-sawed their lumber, oars and 
everything. The schooner was built in what, in the plan of Hood Point Estate, is shown as Poca Bay, a 
little bay near 'Gapt. Bridgman's Gut-off'; just north of those two rocks where the ferry from Horseshoe 
Bay lands, north end of the beach at Gates Bay." 

Hood Point Hotel. 

Gonversation with Mr. Grafton (see above), continued: 

"Arthur Newland was probably the cause of the building of the hotel. The property belonged to J.G. Keith, 
and the hotel was built beside Simpson's old home in pretty near the centre of the bay. It was of sawn 
lumber, not logs, taken there on a scow beached in front of the hotel being constructed. The hotel stood 
in the middle of a three- or four-acre clearing, on a gradual slope, with a small slightly sloping lawn in 
front. The hotel was small, two-storey, and would not accommodate many — had a small bar and dining 
room, and it was run by Newland and his wife, and once in a while a man to do the chores. And the 
people who went up there in their yachts, such as B.T. Rogers, president of the B.G. Sugar Refinery, in 
his yacht Mou Ping, slept on their yachts. They went to the hotel for a drink — nothing else." 

Note: the original "Howe Sound Hotel" register of guest was presented to the Gity Archives by W.J. 
Barrett-Lennard, Esq., and contains many signatures of the eminent of early Vancouver. 


In 1914, J.G. Keith, previously mentioned, of Scottish descent, owned Hood Point. One authority states 
that "Invercraig" stood 100 to 200 feet from "Gapt. Bridgman's Gut-off," but this statement would appear to 
have been a slip, and that 100 to 200 yards is meant. 

Gates Gove. 

A map, published in 1 928 by the Hood Point Estate, shows the little island as Finisterre Island, and the 
south side of the bay as Gates Gove. All the little bays, etc., are named. It is a beautifully printed little 
signed "J. Alexander Walker & Associates, Givil, Town Planing and Landscape Engineers, London 
Building, 626 West Pender St. Vancouver." Not all of District Lot 823 is surveyed into lots and blocks. The 
geographical features named are: 

Smugglers' Gove, 
Montevista Bay, 
Gates' Gove, 
Golumbine Gove, 
Poca Bay, 
Finisterre Island, 
Enchanta Bay, 
Safety Bay. 

A golf links is planned, and a circle named Eyriemont Gircle. The roads or trails are named Bowena 
Wynd, Lea Way Wynd, Lionhurst Way, Quay Way and Island Highroad. The second and third circles are 


Eaglemont Circle and Buena Vista Circle. One wharf, and (provision for) five floats are shown. An original 
in City Archives. 

Gates Bay. 

Photograph, C.V. Out. N. 94, P. 218. The inscription: 

Cates Bay, Hood Point, and Union S.S. "Comox," 1892, 1893, Indian named "Kwumch-num," i.e., 
noise as when stamping heel (beating of waves). John Simpson preempted D.L. 823, 112 acres, 
30 Sept. 1886, crown grant 24 Jan. 1890; he was a Moodyville logger. J.C. Keith purchased, then 
"Howe Sound Hotel" erected, garden, no dock. Arthur Newland, proprietor, pioneer fashionable 
summer resort. Mayor Fred Cope of Vancouver standing on beach. Keith converted into summer 
home, named it "Invercraig," i.e., "between the rocks." Keith disposed of land to Capt. Cates, but 
on acquiring "Terminal Farm," Snug Cove, the latter became the popular resort, and Hood Point 
withered. Pioneer sobriquet for pass between shore and Finisterre Island, "Straits of Magellan," 
and "Captain Bridgman's Cut-off" (tug "Mamie" stranded.) Subdivided by Hood Point Estate, 
1928. S.S. "Comox" was assembled at Coal Harbour (foot Cardero St.) Beach — one log only — 
illustrates how free of forest debris the shore was in Indian days. Cates Bay named 1928, 
adopted Geographic Board, 7 December 1937. William Simpson, brother, moved to Gambler 
Island, 1888. Photo by W.T. Dalton, pioneer architect; presented by his son A.T. Dalton, 
F.R.G.S., 1939, to City Archives. J.S.M. 

Note: it is presented to the reader that, in all probability, the three gentlemen on the beach had wandered 
down the steps of the low cliff before the "Howe Sound Hotel," or "Invercraig," and that Mr. Dalton, also of 
the party, on the lawn above, photographed them. 

The alignment of the geographical features — island and distant peaks — should therefore give the precise 
location of "Invercraig." 

Gates Gottage. 

According to Mrs. Lloyd K. Turner (Mr. Turner is on the Province reportorial staff), 1676 West 11* 
Avenue, sister to Capt. John A. Cates (see that docket) and daughter of Capt. Charles Henry Cates, 
founder of the family. The log cabin was originally erected after 1921, (and after her brother, Capt. John 
Andrew Cates, sold the Terminal Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. to the Union Steamships Ltd.) at his platinum 
and gold mine at Tulameen, Similkameen Valley. After the mine proved unsuccessful, and having a fancy 
for the cabin, Capt. Jack Cates and his wife had it pulled down and shipped by rail to Vancouver; then to 
Hood Point, where it was re-erected. Mrs. Turner added, "It cost a pile of money to do it, too." She says 
that the story in the News-Herald, 18 August 1942, by Edith McConnell Denton, is not correct. 

The cabin is said to be next door to the south to the cottage of Capt. and Mrs. W.J. Twiss, and that the 
lower part of the "Twiss" cottage is the first floor of the old "Hood Point Hotel," which was two storey and 
attic, but which was partly demolished about 1931 or 1932 by Walter H. Wilson, 761 West 26* Avenue, 

Whether the Cates "Tulameen" log cabin is or is not the cottage of Mr. R.E. Standfield, manager, 
Hudson's Bay Co., has not been determined by examination, but its appearance has been changed. 
Perhaps the logs were boarded over. 

Hood Point. D.L. 823. John Simpson. Arthur Newland. Howe Sound Hotel. Barrett- 


Conversation, 21 February 1938, with Mr. W.A. Grafton, 542 West 63'^'^ Avenue, Vancouver, retired City 
Hall employee, who reached Vancouver in the summer of 1 887, and was for many years identified with 
Bowen Island. See "Grafton Bay," "Grafton Lake," on Bowen Island. 

Mr. Grafton: "Mr. Simpson squatted on — there were a lot of squatters who squatted but never got their 
deed — I don't know if he got his deed. Simpson owned Hood Point, northeast point of Bowen Island. J.C. 
Keith, manager. Bank of British Columbia, bought it from him. There were two brothers — one moved over 
to Gambler Island in 1888. 


"Simpson was single; no wife, no l<lootcli, and built a liouse. A very old fellow lived with him, and they 
fished for cod and dogfish. They were after the livers. The Hastings Sawmill gave them twenty-five 
cents — that was the price — per gallon for the dogfish oil for use on their machinery, or logging skid roads. 
He had a nice little garden and orchard; little of everything, no dock, just beach landing. There were three 
little bays. If it is stormy one bay you can go to another; property ran from water to water and faces three 
ways, north, east and west; took in the whole point, 160 acres or less. 

"Arthur Newland (oh, about 1895) rented the place from J.C. Keith, and put up the Howe Sound Hotel, but 
when Capt. Gates of the Terminal Steamship Co. started the farm at Deep Cove, the hotel just withered 
up. Newland has no vessel of his own, but he was rather well patronised by well-known people, as well as 
by loggers on their way back to logging camps on Howe Sound, who were very glad of a rest after their 
long pull in an open boat from Vancouver. The loggers did not sleep much in the hotel, but just had a 
drink and refreshment; lots of good food. He had a lot of chickens. Then the loggers departed, and went 
on to their camps. Hood Point is very rough place in winter — awful strong tide. Squamish winds terrible — 
very boisterous in winter." 

Death of John Simpson. 

John Simpson, 712 Rayside Avenue, Burnaby, died 16 February 1938, aged 78 years. Buried Masonic 
Cemetery, Burnaby. He was brother of the sister-in-law of Dr. G.H. Raley, D.D. 


Conversation with W.J. Barrett-Lennard, Esq., well-known chartered accountant (author, Barrett-Lennard 
Report on City Hall Administration, 1936), 21 February 1938. 

Mr. Barrett-Lennard: "J.C. Keith sold to Capt. Cates. I bought from Capt. Cates. I have the old Howe 
Sound Hotel register." (Subsequently presented by him to City Archives.) 

Captain and Mrs. W.J. Twiss. W.J. Barrett-Lennard. R.E. Standfield. 

On 25 June 1941 , whilst on board the Lady Alexandra en route to Snug Cove, Bowen Island, with the 
Vancouver Pioneers Association picnickers, Capt. W.J. Twiss, of Kerrisdale (Mutual Life of Canada), 
former president Vancouver Pioneers Association, and Mrs. Twiss told me that they had acquired 
property at Hood Point; that the old hotel register was at Hood Point (now in City Archives) and that they 
would try and get it for us. A year or so later, by invitation, I visited their pretty summer home. Next door 
was that of Mr. R.E. Standfield, manager, Hudson's Bay Co., and not far away that of W.J. Barrett- 
Lennard. There is a regular ferry boat between Horseshoe Bay and Hood Point. 

"The Lions." First ascent, 1903. 

The famous peaks, "The Lions," were first ascended by a party starting from the "Hood Point Hotel." The 
party consisted of Atwell D. King, died about 1947, afterwards solicitor B.C. Electric, Victoria; George 
Martin, a B.C. Electric interurban motorman on the Lulu Island interurban line, and Arthur Tinniswood 
Dalton, F.R.G.S., Assessment Commissioner, City Hall, Vancouver, both living in Vancouver in 1948. 
They stopped at the Hood Point Hotel for the night, and next day sailed across to the eastern shore of 
Howe Sound, and commenced the first successful ascent of the western "Lion." Their signatures in hotel 
register are dated "10 August, 1903." 


The Parker Gallery, 2 Albemarle Street, London, W.I. offers for sale: 

40. Anson's Victory off Cape Finisterre (Galicia, Spain), 3'^'^ May 1 947. Stern view of the capture of 
three French warships, Glorioso, Jason and Gloire, Coloured engraving. 17 pounds 10 shillings. 

41. The Invincible, French ship-of-war, captured, two pounds 10 shillings. 

42. etc. etc. etc. (other ships) 

On the 3'^'' May 1747, Vice Admiral Anson fell in with and defeated a powerful French fleet off Cape 
Finisterre, Spain, commanded by M. de la Jonquire. The British Fleet captured 12 ships and 2,500 


Samuel Hood, I^Wiscount, 1724-1816. 

Admiral. Commanded the North American Station, 1767-1770. Served at St. Eustatius, 1781, St. Kitts and 
under Admiral Rodney at Dominica, 1782. (There was also a Vice-Admiral Sir A.A. Hood, H.M.S. Royal 
George, 100 guns, Capt. W. Domett.) 

Capt. Charles Henry Gates starts over. 

Conversation with Calvert Simson, a storekeeper, Hastings Sawmill, 14 December 1937. 

Mr. Simson: "Yes, there was a water scow; not 'Spratt's Ark,' but a real water scow. That was how 
Captain Cates got his start. He used to take the scow over from this side to Moodyville on the north 
shore, fill it out of the spout at the flume — good water from Lynn Valley Creek — and tow it over to the 
sailing ships for ballast and fresh water. I think he got five dollars for watering a ship." 

"Little Archer" and the Japanese visiting squadron, about 1909. 

Ronald Kenvyn, formerly editor. Province, writes {Province, 8 February 1939) on the visit of "Capt." W.H. 
Archer to the Japanese warships Aso and Soya, which visited Vancouver following the China-Japan War. 

Explanation by J.S. Matthews. 

This extraordinary and amusing incident arose in this way. 

When the Japanese warship Aso and Soya — one of them was the captured Russian warships Bayan — 
arrived in the harbour on a courtesy visit to her ally, Canada, there were no naval units to greet them. The 
only armed forces of any sort in Vancouver, at that time, was the militia regiment, the 6* Regiment, "The 
Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles," and a very fine regiment, too. 

The officer commanding, therefore, decided that the only proper and courteous thing to do would be for 
the officers of the regiment to pay them a visit. This was done, and, afterwards, the Japanese were 
entertained at a rifle shooting match on the Richmond Rifle Range, and at a dinner at the Vancouver 
Club. But, concerning the formal visit to the ships on their arrival, this is what happened. 

The officers were army officers — had no vessel to convey them to the ships — so one was chartered, a 
small gasoline launch. They were dressed in full dress, with sword, etc., etc., and away they went to the 
warships. Just before starting they espied a small craft with some uniformed men on board speeding 
towards the warships. They were delayed in starting and by the time they reached the flagship some time 
had elapsed. They were startled to see "Captain" W.H. Archer, a tiny little fellow — less than five feet — 
coming down the gangway and re-embark on his little ship — a rowboat with a small engine. Cadet-Capt. 
R.N. Davey, of the No. 101 Vancouver High School Cadets, was with him, gaily caparisoned in a red 
coat. Mr. Archer wore his naval uniform with white cap cover, gilt buttons and sword. 

What had happened was that both Capt. Davey and Capt. Archer had arrived on the flagship, climbed the 
gangway, saluted the ship, been received with honours, escorted to the Admiral's cabin, been entertained 
with wine and refreshment, mutual courtesies exchanged, and had then retired and bore off before the 
authorised official party representing the then garrison of Vancouver had reached the ship. 

The incident was somewhat, not especially, annoying to the officers of the 6* Regiment. They regarded it 
as merely cheeky. The Japanese had no means of knowing they were entertaining interlopers. 

What Capt. Archer (his proper cognomen was W.H. Archer, Esq., F.A.I.A., in 1906 living at 31-33 Inns of 
Court Building, where he also had his office) was captain of we never could determine. But he was a most 
agreeable little gentleman and delighted to march out at the rear of the 6**^ Regiment whenever he had a 
chance — always in his uniform. And, the officers liked him and, although the procedure was quite 
irregular, allowed him to do so. 

Cadet-Capt. R.N. Davey was captain of the corps of cadets attached to the 6* Regiment. He was a 
school cadet captain and, on account of certain boldness, was not very well liked by the officers. He was 
regarded as "too important." 


Why either should have visited the Japanese ships in uniform at all was never understood. Why they 
should have preceded the official party was also never understood; and they did not receive invitations to 
attend the official dinner at the Vancouver Club. 

I was one of the visiting officers of the 6"^ Regiment, and must admit I was "shocked" when I saw the two 
coming down the flagship's gangway as we were approaching — a most extraordinary caper. 

J.S. Matthews. 

Japanese shrine. 

On 23 August 1 950, two gentlemen called at the City Archives and asked if we had any record of a 
Japanese cemetery said to have existed in early years — about 1905 or 1910 — on the northwest corner of 
Cordova and Dunlevy Avenue. We replied that, years ago, we had been told that something in the form of 
a shrine had been there; but when, about 1935, we had looked, we saw nothing save a garden overgrown 
with grass. We pointed out that, circa 1 91 3, a Japanese Church was on the southeast corner of Jackson 
Avenue and Powell Street — about one block away — and that it was possible such a shrine had something 
to do with cremation of the Japanese dead. One of the gentlemen said that Japanese frequently cremate 
their dead. They repeated that the place they referred to was on the northwest comer of Cordova and 
Dunlevy, and surrounded by a metal fence. It is true that in 1913 this corner was one of the few vacant 
lots in the neighbourhood. I am fairly certain it was still vacant in 1 933 or 1 935. I know that about that time 
I was told of something peculiar of like character to be seen in that neighbourhood. I went down but all I 
could find was a garden gone to ruin — on a corner — but whether it was that corner or some other corner I 
could not remember. 

I told the two gentlemen (one from Los Angeles) that if ever I found out I would let them know, and they 
gave me this address: Walter Bertram, c/o 185 West 23'^'^ Avenue, Vancouver. 

J.S. Matthews. 

Conversation with Mr. Walter Keamo, 760 Powell Street, Vancouver, who very 
kindly called at the city archives this morning, 1 8 april 1 952. 

James Keamo. Hawaiians. 

Mr. Keamo: "My father was James Keamo. The white people pronounce it Kee-mo, but the proper way is 
Ky-am-mo. My mother was Annie Nelson, daughter of Mr. Nelson of Maple Ridge. He died before I knew 
him — perhaps before I was born — anyway, I do not remember him. He was a Scotchman so far as I know. 
He had a fruit ranch at Maple Ridge. I think she was born at Port Hammond on the Indian Reserve. Her 
people came from the Katzie Indian Reservation, but I don't think she had an Indian name. 

"James Keamo was a full blood Hawaiian from Honolulu. He came up here on a sailing ship. He just 
came for the trip and stayed here. I have always understood he came here alone, by himself. The only job 
he ever had, so far as I know, was at the Hastings Sawmill. What he did there I don't know. I don't know 
when or where he married, but there were about four children older than I am and I was born at New 
Westminster, July 24*, 1889. There were three children after me. 

"Sometime before I was born. Father and Mother went to live at New Westminster where Father fished 
salmon — flat bottom cannery skiff. I went to the West End school in New Westminster. At the time I was 
the only one of the family going to school — the others were too young. In a family of ten children there 
were Grant, Phil, Walter, Harry and Alfred. And the girls were Laura, Emma, Josephine, Edith, and a little 
baby girl, born before me, who died. I am the only boy living. The rest have died. Grant married and had 
four children — one dead, three living — and they all live at 2162 East Hastings Street, and are listed in the 
telephone directory as 'Campbell, J. Grant, 2162 East Hastings.' Harry married and is buried in the United 
States. He had one girl and I suppose she is living in the U.S. I married, had two children — both dead. 

"Now about my four sisters. Miss Jose Campbell and Mrs. Emma Rogers are living in San Francisco. 
Edith died in a monastery in the States and Laura, married in New Westminster, died. She was Mrs. 


Vianna" (sic) "and had three girls and a boy. Father and Mother are buried in the Roman Catholic 
Cemetery, New Westminster. Father died in 1 905, and Mother six or seven years later." 

Keamo becomes Campbell. 

"I am not the only descendant of James Keamo who is using the name Keamo. In the telephone directory 
you will see 'Campbell, J. Grant, 2162 East Hastings,' but in the city directory, 'Keamo, E.G.' lives at the 
same address. I have no children to carry on the name, but Grant, who is dead, had two sons, Elmer and 
James. Elmer is the 'E.G. Keamo' who lives at 21 62, and is about 40. James is two years older. James is 
married and has a son, Don or Donnie. 

"I served in the 47*^ Overseas Battalion, C.E.F., Colonel Taylor. Went overseas in 1916 — in action at Vimy 
in 1916, November I think it was, and left Vimy in March 1 91 7, before the assault. Deaf in one ear; stayed 
in France until the Armistice, 1 91 8, and came home in 1 91 9. Harry went overseas in some other unit. 
Nothing happened to him. When I joined the 47* I took my own name, Walter Keamo, and I think Harry 
did the same — Harry Keamo." 


(Note: the Hudson's Bay Co. had ships making frequent trips between the Hawaiian Islands and Pacific 
Coast of America and used Kanakas both as seamen and as employees at their forts. J.S.M.) 

Another inaccurate story about start of fire, 1886. 

"John Mole Keeper passes. Started fire of 1886." 

Caption to obituary of John Mole Keefer, of Chilliwack, published in Province, 1 April 1953. 

The obituary quotes the late Mr. Keefer as saying: 

"After this we went to our camp in Stanley Park, and had our dinner. We had found a site for a camping 
spot on English Bay, and burned a quantity of dry brush which they feared might be a fire menace. The 
cook called us, and the fire was out of control. A strong wind was whipping it towards the city. Only when 
the sun went down and the wind with it were we able to go back to the city, or the place where the city 
had been. When we realised to the full what we had done we shook hands, all three of us, and vowed we 
would never divulge anything whatever about setting that fire. And, until late years I do not think any of us 
ever did." 

Mr. Keeper's illusion. 

The facts are that both Mr. George Keefer, his brother, and Mr. John Keefer have, of recent years, sought 
a little dubious publicity for doing something they had little or nothing to do with. And, for these reasons: 

1 . The fire did not burn west of Burrard Street. Old photographs show a virgin forest along Burrard from 
False Creek to Georgia Street — after the fire of 1886. 

2. No clearing was being done west of Burrard Street in 1886 and there was no need for them having a 
camp there. 

3. The nearest creek was at the foot of Gilford Street. There were no creeks to the east until almost 
Cambie Street was reached on the shore, where a creek from about St. Paul's Hospital ran down 
Nelson Street into the sea, its mouth at foot of Nelson Street. 

4. Early Vancouver, Vol. 1, Matthews, records W.F. Findlay, journalist, telling J.S. Matthews, 17 October 
1931, that Frank Gladwin started the fire. "He had orders to," said Mr. Findlay. "Five or six men up 
there" (presumably about Pender and Richards) "were up there doing clearing work." Findlay charged 
Gladwin personally, and Gladwin did not deny it, but it is equally untrue. 

5. W.H. Gallagher, in Early Vancouver, says the fires of the clearing were smouldering — it was Sunday, 
and the men not working. The big wind fanned the embers in scores of places, and the fire broke out 
in a dozen places at once. 


6. Gallagher said that a fire by the C.P.R. Roundhouse, Drake Street, became uncontrollable and, 
seeing it, he dashed off down the right of way to Carrall Street to save his books. 


J.S. Matthews 

Rev. Thomas Crosby. Rev. Charles Montgomery Tate. Rev. Cornelius Bryant. 

Excerpt from letter, 3 May 1948, Mrs. M.A. Kenny, 305 Milton Street, Nanaimo, to Major J.S. Matthews, 
City Archivist, Vancouver: 

Here is a photo of Thos. Crosby taken about 1 875 or 1 876, that I promised you. Do not trouble to 
send me a copy. I really am not as interested in him as for instance, our dear old friend CM. 
Tate — or Cornelius Bryant. Mr. Tate really began the Indian mission work in the north, but Mr. 
Crosby seemed to get the credit for much of Mr. Tate's work — at least that's what the old-timers 
thought — and you know "little pitchers (sometimes) have big ears." 

... I've had a couple of visits from Miss Bryant of Ladysmith — Cornelius Bryant's granddaughter, 
and she expects to come again in quest of more data. 

The construction of the Kettle Valley Railway and "The Heyes of the Happles in 
the horchard," 1912. 

30 March 1950. 

"When I get to Heaven, I'm going to hunt up Job, and ask him if he ever built a railway through a small 
town, and" (with vehemence) "if he says 'no,' I'm going to tell him, 'I'm in charge here; you get out. I know 
more about patience than you do.'" 

J.J. Warren, president. Kettle Valley Railway which he was building, 1912, sat lazily rocking before a 
great wide open fire of logs in the foyer of the Incola Hotel, Penticton, on the evening of a wearisome day. 
Captain J.S. Matthews, representing the Imperial Oil Limited in the interior of British Columbia, 
approached and seated himself beside him. Mr. Warren looked tired and irritated as he continued to 

"I've been in court all day. Those fellows up on the benches are suing us for damages for putting the 
railway through their orchards. We could not help making embankments and cuttings; and the right of way 
cut some of the orchards in half. One fellow got into the witness box and told the judge that 'the hashes 
from the hengines going hup the ill will shoot into the heyes of the happles in the horchards,' and," 
continued Mr. Warren, as his head sunk to his chest in dismay, "he wanted damages for what the hashes 
would do to the happles." 

J.S. Matthews. 


Howe Sd . 



Boca dt Flonda Bianea. 
Borrard Tnlfit 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_039 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_040 


[photo annotation:] 

Captain Vancouver discovers Burrard's Canal, 13 June 1792. 

Tine view from Cliaytlioos towards Homulcliesun before the wliitemans came. 

Tliis pliotograpli was tal<en from Cliaytlioos, the home of Chief Khahtsahlano, (Kitsilano) a smooth place 
just east of Prospect Point, circa 1890. On the opposite shore across the First Narrows is the Squamish 
village of Homulchesun, where, on the east bank. Chief Ki-ap-a-lano, (Capilano) lived when not at 
Musqueam. The mouth of Capilano Creek is in the centre. 

A tiny dark oblong scarcely discernible in the distant trees ins the cottage of Capilano Joe in the village of 
Homulchesun. The picture illustrates the scene Captain Vancouver saw as he entered Vancouver 
Harbour. It confirms the supposition by Major Matthews in his compilation, "Narvaez, Discoverer of the 
Rio Blanche," that the Spanish navigator must have sailed very near, otherwise he could not have seen, 
partly concealed in the foliage, the dark Indian lodges of Homulchesun and marked their approximate 
location on his chart, 1 791 . City Archives. J.S. Matthews. 

Concerning ARRIVAL of Narvaez, 1791, at Vancouver. 

Conversation with August Jack Khahtsahlano, of Lower Capilano, who came to wish us a Merry 
Christmas at City Archives, 1 9 December 1 942. 

Note: Mr. Khahtsahlano is now about sixty-seven years old. (He was born in 1877.) He is a very 
responsible Indian — a fine character — and is probably the best informed Indian now living on early Indian 
history of Burrard Inlet. He is a natural born historian and, though he cannot read nor write, he can draw 
and even paint well in colour, and understands charts. August spent the day after the "Fire, 1 886" looking 
over the ruins of Vancouver. His father was Khay-tulk, who, about 1 876, was buried with great ceremony 
in a mausoleum of wood at the end of the Pipe Line Road, Stanley Park. Later, his mother, Qwhy-what, 
married Chinalset, or "Jericho Charlie," another fine Indian, who was employed by Rogers and afterwards 
Fraser, of Jerry's Cove (Jericho) to freight supplies to the logging camp from the Hastings Sawmill store. 
August made countless trips with his stepfather in the big five-ton freight canoe. Both Chinalset and 
Qwhy-what told August much early history and August, who has an excellent memory, was deeply 
interested. See Conversations witii Klialitsalilano, Matthews, 1955. 

Major Matthews: (with Narvaez's chart, photographs of Jericho, admiralty charts and modern maps of 
Vancouver spread before August) August, tell me about Jericho and Capilano in early days. Suppose you 
were on the beach below the cliffs of Point Grey — looking east — could you see Indian houses at Capilano 
and Jericho at Homulchesun and Eyalmu? 

August: "No. You can't see through a hill; nor trees. You'd have to go a mile, more than a mile, out 
Spanish Banks before you could anchor. If you stay on beach you can't see Jericho; you can't see 
through all them trees. And, Capilano" (Homulchesun) "that's too far away; houses too small — wrong 
colour to see — you could see where they was, but you couldn't see them. That's long time ago." 





Item # EarlyVan_v7_041 


Major Matthews: August. You know Imperial Street; look at these photos. (Leonard Frank, No. 13975 and 
1 3983, September 1 930.) This is the golf course looking west from the Club House, twelve years ago, 
looking west from the old cove towards Locarno Park cedar and fir trees. Tell me, where was the old 
potlatch house? The great big long one the Indians lived in before the whitemans came — the one the 
warship pulled down and took part of it away. 

August: "It was about two hundred feet back from the beach on the sand heap. It was over there" 
(pointing), "somewhere back of where they built the first air station; back from the beach. They cuts down 
a lot of trees, though, what used to be there. The warship pulls the old potlatch house down, but when I 
was a little boy I used to 'ride' on what they left; roof pieces, long thick slabs of cedar — forty feet long, six 
inches thick and eighteen inches wide — very thick, cedar. They was in the water and I got on top and 
paddled with my hands. But on this side" (east side) "of Imperial Street there wasn't many trees — all 
muskeg and swamp and bushes." 

Major Matthews: Well, supposing you were out in English Bay, over in the middle just sailing about, how 
far would you have to go east of Jericho before you could see back at the potlatch house hidden behind 
the trees at the foot of Imperial Street? 

August: "You'd have to go right over to Point Atkinson and then go east. You couldn't anchor nearer than 
a mile off Point Grey, and then you'd have to go east to about a mile off Siwash Rock, about opposite 
Hollyburn, before you could look back and see the old potlatch house. Because the trees at Imperial 
Street would hide them." 

Major Matthews: Well, this chart here (Admiralty chart, 1893) shows Indian houses at Jerry's Cove, right 
here on the west bank of the cove, across the cove from Angus Fraser's camp just a few yards. 

August: (annoyed) "Oh, that's not where the potlatch house was. That's my stepfather's house, and 
Burns'." (Indian) "My stepfather's house, Charlie , about sixty feet long, and made of sawn boards from the 
Hastings Sawmill, and white — whitewashed. That's not the old Indian houses. The old potlatch house was 
away west of that — west of the cove — three or four hundred yards, on the sand bank; about two hundred 
feet back from the water; very old cedar slab house. Nobodies lives in it — long time ago everybody live in 
it. First white man that come never see Indian house at Jerry's Cove — it's not there, it's not built." 


Major Matthews: Well. We're out on the beach at Point Grey and we're looking towards First Narrows. 
Look at this chart. Look at this photo from Point Grey — see how Ferguson Point sticks out very prominent 
and you cannot see Prospect Point at all. Suppose you didn't know there was an entrance to First 
Narrows there — what would you think if you'd never been there and never seen it before? 

August: "Well, if you didn't know about First Narrows you'd think it was a big bay and that Siwash Rock 
was a sharp point" (cape.) 

Major Matthews: The chart says the Indians' houses are on the east bank of Capilano Creek. 

August: "That's where they were. Only Lahwa" (Chief Lahwa) "had his house on the west bank, but it was 
white; whitewashed, sawn boards from Hastings Mill. But if you were at Point Grey you couldn't see the 
Indian houses at Homulchesun; could see where they were but they too far away. You could see where 
they were better if you went half way to Point Atkinson." 

Major Matthews: And they were only one storey — very low. What colour would they be? 

August: "Cedar colour — old cedar colour, no paint, not quite black — kinda reddish. They's not very high — 
only about twenty feet or bit more. Nobody could see them from Point Grey. If they was white you could 
see white spots but they's almost black. The first white man to come must have come pretty close to old 
cedar houses at Homulchesun. You would have to go close — they was hidden by the crab apple trees. 
Indians don't cut crab apple trees on west side of Capilano Creek. They keep those trees for shelter from 
the wind. What time of year was the first white man here?" 

Major Matthews: July. (1 791 .) 


August: "Oh!! He couldn't see those houses at Homulchesun. He must have come pretty close. In July the 
leaves would hid the houses and the houses was old cedar colour. He must have come close." 

Major Matthews: But he didn't find the opening to the Narrows. 

August: "May be. What would he want to go into Hollyburn wharf for? He's just sailing around. He sees a 
big bay with Indian houses in the middle. He thinks it's just a big bay. He knows nothing about First 
Narrows. And trees all down Prospect Point. He thinks it's just another point so he goes away." 

Major Matthews: Good. Thanks — ^just what I wanted. (Gives him $1 .25 to buy himself a Christmas present 
to his liking.) 

August is a charming man; one of nature's gentlemen. 

J.S. Matthews 

City Archives 
City Hall 

19 December 1942. 

Conversation with Mrs. James Walker, daughter of Joseph Silvey (or Silvia) of 
Granville, or "Gastown," at her room at 721 Cambie Street, 23 September 1943. 

Christine, daughter of John Thomas, or "Navvy Jack." Rowia. Jowyak. Qwhil-eet-rock. 

Mrs. Walker: "I went over to Christine to see about my mother's" (Khaal-tin-aht) "father. You see, my 
mother was a granddaughter of 'Old Chief Ki-ap-i-la-no, so I asked Christine about his son, my 
grandfather, who was, of course, father of my mother. Christine is my cousin. She is the daughter of my 
mother's sister, Rowia" (pronounced as in "how" or "now" — not as in "bow" tie.) "Rowia married a white 
man, Mr. Thomas, who used to live over there at West Vancouver. His nickname was 'Navvy Jack.' Mr. 
Thomas owned all that land over there, but he did not pay, and lost it." 

Jowyak. Khaaltinaht. Rowia. Lumtinaht or Lomtinaht. 

"You see, there were four sisters. The eldest was Susan, or Jowyak, the next was my mother, Khaal-tin- 
aht" (or Mary Anne); "then came Rowia, and the youngest was Lum-tin-aht. They were all grandchildren 
of 'Old Chief Ki-ap-i-lano — the head chief my great-grandfather Ki-ap-i-la-no. 

"And there were a lot of boys but I forget their names." 


"Christine told me my grandfather's name was Quil-eet-rock. He was the son of the 'Old Chief" 

Josephine Silvey. Joseph Silvey. Pasley Island. Bowen Island. Whaling. Peter Smith. 
Harry Trim. Capt. Douglas. 

"I made a mistake when I told you Josephine was born in Gastown. She was not born in Gastown but on 
Bowen Island" (Pasley Island nearby is probably meant), "where they were whaling. My father, Peter 
Smith and Harry Trim and a Capt. Douglas were whaling. Capt. Douglas had a schooner and there were 
some more men. You see, I was only three years old and I am sorry I left that out about Josephine being 
born on Bowen Island. Capt. Douglas used to go sealing, but they came over from that and went whaling 
off Bowen Island. They used to shoot the whales. They got a lot of oil out of the whales, and Capt. 
Douglas had the big schooner and they had a wharf there. Josephine was born right on that island. All the 
women had little cabins — all the Indian girls who were white men's wives. Harry Trim's wife was an 
Indian. Peter Smith's wife was an Indian and my father's wife was an Indian. All had little houses — nice 
little houses — and they built the wharf for the schooner to land. It was a nice bay." 


"Then the next morning after Josephine was born they brought me home, Mrs. Trim and Mrs. Smith (I've 
got a good memory, haven't I?) on Bowen Island, and the little baby, my sister Josephine, was on a 

Major Matthews: Harry Trim came down from the Cariboo, after he got through with mining, in 1868. 

Mrs. Walker: "That's what my father, Joe Silvey, did but he came down before he got very far up the river 
because the Indians chased him away." 


Feb. 19'^ 1947. 

RECEIVED from Major J.S. Matthews $15.00 for mask. 

[signed] August Jack Khahtsahlano. 

This mask was made by August Jack Khahtsahlano; was made without an order for it. He wants to go to 
Squamish; needs the fare, expenses, and his method of getting the money is to make something, bring it 
to me, and say that the price is such and such, knowing that the amount will be immediately forthcoming. 

He tells me it is a duplicate of the mask which was placed upon the head of His Excellency Lord 
Alexander, Governor General, when he was made an honorary Indian chief at Kitsilano Beach about 1 3 
July 1 946. But when I pointed out the markings were different — as shown in the photographs of Lord 
Alexander — he explained that he did it from memory, which is "very good" as seven months have 
elapsed. I asked if the mask made me a chief. He laughed and exclaimed, "Skwa-yoos," which, being 
interpreted, means that as I live at "Skwa-yoos," that being the Indian name for Kitsilano Beach, I am 
Chief Skwayoos. 

The mask is in the shape of a huge bird's beak, is worn on top of the head and does not conceal the face. 
See Photo Port. P. 1194. 

J.S. Matthews 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, Matthews, 1955, page 137. 

Conversation with August Jack Khahtsahlano, son of Khay-tulk, grandson of Chief Khahtsahlanough, in 
whose honour the suburb of Kitsilano is named. August came, unheralded, to the City Archives, carrying 
a big brown paper bag, which he set upon the floor, 20 February 1947. 

Indian implements. Indian masks. Major J.S. Mathews. Chief Skwa-yoos. Lord Alexander, 
Governor General. Kitsilano Beach. 

Major Matthews: (seated at his desk) Hello, August!! Sit down. 

(August, smiling but silent, seats himself at the other side of the desk. He looks tired. His face is pallid, 
almost white. For some extraordinary reason, August has been losing his Indian brown complexion. For 
years it has gradually been getting whiter and whiter, until he is now whiter than many Europeans. August 
remains silent, just smiling.) 

Major Matthews: What have you been doing to yourself, August, you look pale. Have you been using 
whiteman's soap again and wash all the brown off your face. That's what you've been doing, August. 
You've been washing yourself with soap and you've washed all the colour off; washed your face white. 
How do you feel? 

August: (smiling) "Oh, all right sometimes." 

Major Matthews: What are you up to now, August? I'll bet you're up to some trick. What's in the paper 


(August goes over, picks up the bag, lays it on tine table, and, delving into its depths, brings forth an 
Indian headdress, new; one he has made himself, a thunderbird's beak adorned with coloured markings 
and cedar bark for hair down the back.) 

Major Matthews: (with much intelligence, he knows by experience the proper thing to say) How much? 

August: "Twenty dollars." 

Major Matthews: (protesting) Oh! August, have mercy, only fifteen last time. 

Miss Nina King: (interjecting) "Will you have a cup of tea and some cake?" 

August: "Please." 

Major Matthews: (trying on headdress) Miss King, have a cheque for fifteen dollars made out. August, this 
is like the one they put on Lord Alexander, Governor General, down at Kitsilano Beach last summer. Miss 
King, bring me a photo of the mask they gave Lord Alexander. (Miss King brings it.) Look, August, not 
quite the same markings; same shape, different markings. I'm glad; I don't want the same as given Lord 
Alexander; not right. 

August: "I make mask from memory. If I have that photo I make same as Lord Alexander. I work from 
memory; six months." 

Major Matthews: (holding mask on his head) When I've got this mask on, August, am I a Chief? 

August: "Skwa-yoos." (All present laugh.) ("Skwa-yoos" is the Indian name for Kitsilano beach where 
Major Matthews lives.) 

Major Matthews: (holding mask on head, rising and walking about) All right, August, after this, when I've 
got this mask on, I'm "Chief Skwa-yoos." 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, Matthews, 1955, page 139. 

1 May 1947. 

August Jack Khahtsahlano. 

This afternoon I asked my assistant. Miss Nina D. King, to call on Mrs. Armitage-Moore, i.e., "Maisie," at 
the Standard Bank Building, and pick up some Native Voice newspapers, the new publication of the 
native Canadians (Indians). When she arrived, my old friend August Jack Khahtsahlano, was sitting there 
waiting. Miss King spoke to him. He was just sitting in his calm quiet way, "wearing" as usual a most 
benevolent smile. Miss King tells me the conversation was interrupted by someone who asked of Mr. 
Khahtsahlano, "What are you doing these days?" 

August answered, slowly and softly, to this common-place question, "Eating, sleeping, working." And then 
he smiled again. 

(The old Indian, a born gentleman, is always very lucid, wise, precise and concise. He has been busy 
lately — "these days" — "eating, sleeping and working." Which is precisely what he has been.) 

J.S. Matthews 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_042 


[photo annotation:] 

Brockton Point, 1889, looking nortli from Jolinnie Baker's clearing, now known as Nine O'Clock Gun and 
Hallelujah Point. In distance, north shore, covered with forest. The precise location is the bend of the road 
at Hallelujah Point where the road turns north from the "Egeria" benchmark monument. The "Park Road" 
is surfaced with white calcined shells excavated from the prehistoric Indian midden, or refuse heap, an 
acre in extent, at least eight feet deep, centuries old, formerly at the vanished Indian village of Whoi-whoi, 
i.e., "masks," and known to us as "Lumbermen's Arch." Before 1886 the pioneers of all Burrard Inlet used 
this hallowed ground as a burial place for their dead, conveyed hence in boats, carried up the bank, and 
interred in rudely dug graves beneath the trees of the forest. Little round topped head boards of wood 
painted white with names of deceased and dates marked their place, and oft the wounds of sorrow 
brought relatives, in boats, to lay, all unobserved in the solitude, small posies to be placed in small jars or 
bottles of water on the low leaf covered mounds. The head boards could still be seen as late as 1 900. 
Gradually they rotted. In the seventies Mr. Jane surveyed and recommended the location as the site for a 
cemetery, but nothing came of it. Burials ceased when, early in 1886, its use as a park, etc., became 
likely. Tread softly; this was our first graveyard. Bailey Bros, photo X 768. Companion photos C.V. St. Pk. 
P. 21,25, 26, 51, N. 9, G.N. 32, 106, 110, 157, 475. City Archives. J.S.M. 


Supplejack's mausoleum, Stanley Park at Chaythoos, First Narrows. 

Conversation with August Jacl< Klialitsalilano, son of Kliaytulk, or "Supplejack," and grandson of Cliief 
Klialitsalilanogli (Kitsilano), following the complimentary banquet given to the Avison family by the Parks 
Board, when "Avison Trail" was so named in honour of the first Park Ranger, John Avison. At this 
banquet, Frank Harris, who has lived in the Water Works Cottage since 1889, and still lives there, had 
said in his speech that he knew where Supplejack's grave (or mausoleum) had stood, exactly. As Major 
Matthews was skeptical he wrote August asking him to come over from the Indian Reserve, Lower 
Capilano. August came, Monday, 8 December 1947. 

Supplejack's grave. Khay-tulk. Chaythoos. 

Major Matthews: August, old Mr. Harris says that your father's grave was exactly where the summer 
house stood afterwards. That's wrong. 

August: "My father's grave wasn't there; it was 1 50 feet east of the summer house. The summer house 
was almost exactly at the end of the Pipe Line Road. Father's grave wasn't at the end of the Pipe Line 
Road. It was further east towards our house. The summer house was north of the Park Road almost at 
the end of the Pipe Line Road — there was a couple of trees there afterwards. Supplejack's grave was on 
the north side of the Park Road, too, but 1 50 feet east. Our old home was on the south side of the Park 
Road — the Park Road touched the site of it — but another 1 50 feet or so to the east of the grave. Beyond 
our house was the creek, and across the creek was the barn." 

J.S. Matthews 

See map. Early Vancouver, Vol. 6, and photos. St. Pk. N. 32, P. 35. 

16 August 1948. 



Died, North Vancouver, 10 Aug. 1948 

The daily newspapers, Province and Sun, 1 1 August, and Sun, 12 August, announce her death in large 
type followed by biography of her life, or what purports to be a biography. 

The accounts state she was "over 100" years old, and "may have been 110." 

The Indian Department give her age as 90. (Official age.) 

See Early Vancouver, Vol. 5. Also Conversations witli Kliahtsahlano, Matthews, 1955. 

Capt. John Deighton, alias "Gassy Jack," died 9 June 1875. The date of the death of his wife is not known 
to us but, after her death, he "married" her niece, Madeline, or Qwa-hay-lia, just deceased. They had a 
little baby boy who lived about two years. Capt. Deighton owned the "Deighton Hotel" — not the 
Sunnyside, as stated in the press — but, in addition, had a little cabin back in the forest, somewhere about 
what is now the corner of Carrall and Hastings Street, where Qwa-hay-lia presided, and to which he 
retreated for peace and quietness. The account states Madeline, up to the time of her death, was "making 
baskets for a living." The fact is Madeline was almost blind. I found out the state of her eyesight by trying 
my own glasses on her. He did not bring her to Burrard Inlet in his canoe — it was his aunt who came. In 
1 940 she told me she was about 82, and this is confirmed by the official age given me today, 1 6 August 
1 948, by the Indian Agent. 

J.S. Matthews 



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Item # EarlyVan_v7_043 



[photo annotation:] 

August Jack Khahtsahlano, 1946. 

Son of Khaytulk or "Supple Jack," of Chaythoos, and grandson of Chief Khahtsahlanogh (no European 
name), in wliose lienor tine suburb of Kitsilano, Vancouver, is named. On 12* February, 1879, he was 
baptised by Rev. Father N. Gregone as "Auguste, fils de Shinaotset & de Menatlot, Squamishs, baptise 
I'age d'environ, 16 mois le 12, Fevrier, 1879." August stated, 16*^ July 1940: - "Auguste!! that's me. When 
I little boy they call me "IVlenatlot," (pronounced IVlen-at-el-ot). But priest make mistake. IVly father Khay- 
tulk; he die day I was born. Qwy-what, my mother, marry Shinoatset (usually spelled Chinalset, i.e., 
"Jericho Charlie," a very good man), whose first wife was IVlenatelot." The original baptismal certificate is 
in City Archives, deposited by August. August was born at the vanished Indian ville of Snauq (False 
Creek Indian Reserve) in a lodge directly below the present Burrard Bridge. At this Squamish village, in 
the big long lodge of Toe-who-quam-kee and by Squamish rite, in the presence of a large assemblage of 
his tribe and visiting Indians from Musqueam, Nanaimo, Sechelt, and Ustlawn (North Vancouver), the 
patronymic of his grandfather, Khaht-sah-lah-nogh, was conferred upon him with ceremony by a 
Squamish patriarch, and that of Khaytulk, their father, upon his brother Willie. They were both young men, 
and August, having acquired wealth by working in a nearby sawmill, returned the compliment by giving a 
potlatch, at which he distributed to the assembled guests, men, women and children, over one hundred 
blankets, and other valuables, and also provided a feast. It took place before about 1 900. See "Early 
Vancouver," Vol. four, page ^0 [of original volume], Matthews. On 26 Aug. 1938, by deed poll, deposited 
at Division of Vital Statistics, Victoria, and also City Archives, Vancouver, Mr. Khahtsahlano renounced 
the surname of Jack, by which he had been known, and assumed the name of August Jack 
Khahtsahlano. North American Productions Ltd. Photo. Presented Dec. 1947, by Mrs. Masie Armytage- 
Moore, Vancouver. It appeared as a full front page illustration in the Indian monthly newspaper, "Native 
Voice," Vol. 1, No. 5, April 1947. August is a wise man, a courteous gentleman, and a natural historian. 
City Archives. J.S.M. 

The names Capilano and Kitsilano. 

Dear Mrs. Kay: 

21^' Aug. 1948. 

In the short space allowed by letter paper it is not possible to give you a full account, and 
further, time limits me. The whole subject would be a regular treatise encompassing 1 00 years of 
historical narrative. I will do the best I can. 

Before the Whitemans came — there were no "Palefaces" in British Columbia, and it is 
Chinamans, klootchmans, & Whitemans, not men — the territory of the Squamish Indians was 
"Skoa-mish-oath," i.e., "my country," and included all Howe Sound and Burrard Inlet. To the north 
were the Sechelts. Those up the Eraser River were also different. Roughly, a line drawn from 
Gibsons to Point Grey enclosed "SKOA-MISH-OATH." At the mouth of the North Arm , Eraser 
River, was a village, still there, north bank, within the limits of the City of Vancouver — 
MUSQUEAM — mentioned by Eraser as the place where he turned back in 1808. In this village 
lived a chief — commonly referred to as "Old Man" Ki-ap-a-la-no because Capt. Richards, of 
H.M.S. "Plumper," spells his name "KI-AP-A-LA-NO" in a letter to Governor Douglas, 21^' August, 
1859 — precisely 91 years ago today; no 89 years. "Old Man" Kiapalano was over six feet — nice 
old man — very. He died about, say, 1875; used to camp in Stanley Park. Old Indian friends of 
mine knew him well when they were children. The "Old Man" had two homes. One was at 
Musqueam, adjoining Point Grey Golf Club. That was his "real" home. His grandson Ayatak 
(Erank Charlie), still living, told me that 

"my grandfather tell me that, when he little boy 'bout so high (four feet), he see first white 
man come down Eraser" (1808). 

The name Capilano is still preserved there in the persons of several descendants, all of whom are 
furious at the purloining of their traditional family name by a family of Indians residing on the north 
shore of the Eirst Narrows, Vancouver Harbour. 


The "Old Man's" other home was at Homulchesun, a village on the east bank of our 
Capilano Creek; sometimes he was one place, sometimes another. Then, when white men came, 
they had a habit of calling Indians by descriptive names, such as "Jericho Charlie," "Squamish 
Jacob," "Howe Sound Jim," so that, in some unknown manner, the creek became the "Old Man's" 
creek, i.e., accordingly as you may chose to spell it, Ki-ap-a-lano, Kah-Pil-Lah-No, Ki-ap-lan-ogh, 
Capelano, none of which are a correct interpretation of the Indian pronunciation because that 
cannot be mimic//c/ed by the English tongue. So, when the "Old Man" died, was succeeded by his 
son Lahwa, and next by "Hyas Joe," a relative, the early settlers hereabouts called him "Hyas 
Joe" at first, later "Capilano Joe" because he lived there. 

(Note: originally he was Hyas [big] Joe; then Capilano Joe; then, after he came back from seeing King 
Edward VII, he became Chief Joe Capilano. His son was, or is. Chief Mathias Capilano — though, 
officially, he is Mathias Joe.) 

In 1871 B.C. joined Canada, and soon after the Dominion conducted a survey of Indian 
I. The "KAH-PIL-L 
can spell it as you prefer. 

Reserve. The "KAH-PIL-LAH-NO" Indian Reserve was set aside 15*^ June 1877. So, now, you 

1859 Ki-ap-a-l a-no 
1877Kah-pil -lah-no 
1948Capil ano 

always remembering that the Indian name of the village and creek was Homulchesun, and that 
Capilano is the name of a family living miles away on the North Arm, Eraser River, and that name 
of the family living there at Capilano Creek is Joe. 

What makes the family who live at Musqueam "boil" is that the cherished name, 
Capilano, is used by a family with little, if any, of their blood. It all came about when Lahwa, son of 
"Old Man" Ki-ap-a-la-no, died childless, and the husband, Capilano Joe, of a half-grand-niece of 
the "Old Man" was chosen chief of Kah-pil-lah-no Indian Reserve. There was no heir, and he was 
a good man — the best available. 

Now, the Kitsilano name came differently. Suppose we spell it Khahts-sah-lah-nough, a 
very ancient Indian patronymic. Indian babies are not named at birth, but by formal ceremony 
when they are youths some historic name is given — I am generalising. "Old Man" Khahts-sah-lah- 
nough came with his brother, Chip-kay-um on the Ealse Creek Indian Reserve (Kitsilano) and 
Khahts-sah-lah-nough in Stanley Park, at Chaythoos (Prospect Point) across directly from 
Capilano Creek. Here he died, was succeeded by his son, Khay-tulk, who also died there, and 
was buried in a mausoleum of wood on posts, wrapped in a blanket, and laid in a canoe within 
the housing which had little glass windows so that one could peep in at the canoe within. His son 
was my friend, Khahtsahlano, who often comes to see me — over six feet, and a very fine 
gentleman indeed whose company is delightful. August Jack received the patronymic Khaht-sah- 
la-no at potlatch ceremony on Ealse Creek about 1895, when he was 18. 

About 1884 a man named Greer settled at what is now Kitsilano Beach, and then when 
the Canadian Pacific Railway came they ordered him away he would not go. They burned his 
cabin, lawsuits followed — he lost. The C.P.R. did not like him consequently, so that when in 1905 
the C.P.R. decided to open for settlement what is now Kitsilano Beach, they rejected the name by 
which pioneers had known it, i.e. Greer's Beach. Postmaster Jonathan Miller, pioneer of the 
1 860s, was asked by the C.P.R. to select an Indian name. Miller was very friendly with the 
Indians. Miller consulted Professor Hill-Tout, also friendly with the Indians, and Hill-Tout 
suggested Khaht-sah-lah-nough, but cut it down to KATES-EE-LANO. Someone, probably in the 
Land Department, (here or Montreal) of the C.P.R. changed this to Kitsilano. And that is the end 
of a very epitomised story. 

In a rough way Khahtsa means "lake." The word "Lanough" means "man." We must never 
regard the native Canadian as a Siwash, i.e., "savage" in English, "sauvage" (sic) in French. They 
are not now, nor never were, any more savage than we. They lived differently to us, and were 
terribly handicapped. But, they lived, loved and laughed even as we, and had their chiefs, nobles, 


commons and slaves; even as we have an abundance of serfs to this day — only we don't call 
them that. So that as Khahtsah means "Lake," and Lanough means "man," what we get, actually, 
is "Man of the Lake," just as we say Prince of Wales, or Duke of Devonshire. Khahtsahlanough 
was the principal man of the lake district. Of course that is stretching it a bit, but, you will gather 
the "general idea." 

Now, about pronunciations of Indian words, etc.: August said to me: 

"Indians just as anxious he's boy have good education as whitemans he's boy go to 
university, but he's got no pencil," etc. etc. 

Consequently, as old Mr. (Rev.) Tate told me, cases have arisen when a grandfather 
could not quite understand the words used by the grandson. Again, there are 200 Indian place 
names in and about Vancouver Harbour, but when I asked the Squamish Indian Council to 
confirm my spelling, and they did so, they said it was so done because, as they could not agree 
among themselves as to some of the pronunciations, and, as in other cases, it was impossible to 
convert Indian into English, my spelling was the best makeshift. 

I regret having been so long, but plead that I have not covered a quarter of it. 

With best wishes and my deep respects. 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Mrs. Walter Byron Kay, 
Saturna P.O. 
Saturna Island, B.C. 

Note: for Squamish Indian Life and Names, see Conversations with Kiiaiitsaiilano, Matthews, 1955. 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 22. 

Conversation with August Jack Khahtsahlano, Early Vancouver, Vol. 3, 31 May 1934. 


Major Matthews: What does Saasmat mean? The Spaniards who were here before Captain Vancouver 
say that the Indians called the place "Saasmat." 

August Jack: "That must be down towards Indian River. Don't know what it means; don't think it has 
anything to do with Tsa-atalum, that's out Point Grey, means" (shrugging shoulders) "chill place. Tsa-tsa- 
slum out Point Grey, not Squamish language; don't know what Saasmat means, not same language. We 
never finished the place names up the Inlet. I give you some more now, all I can think of just now." 

Chul-wah-ulch: Bidwell Bay, same name as Coal Harbour. 

Taa-tum-sun: Don't know exactly where, but up by Port Moody, east of Barnet. Don't know 


Tum-tay-mayh-tun: Belcarra, means land. 

Spuc-ka-nash: Little White Rock on the point just where you pass mill (Dollarton). Means "White 

Rock," same as whitemans call it. (White Rock Island in middle of channel.) 

Thiuk-thluk-way-tun: Barnet Mill. Means "where the bark gets peeled" in spring. 

Slail-wit-tuth: Indian River. 


Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 193. 

Conversation with Qoitclietalii (Andrew Paul), Nortli Vancouver, Early Vancouver, Vol. 3, 12 February 

Andrew Paul, Qoitchetahl. Sasaamat. 

Major Matthews: Can you tell me what Sasaamat means? I understand Galiano and Valdes say that they 
called Burrard Inlet Floridablanca, and that the natives called it Sasaamat — at least that portion up about 
Indian River. 

Andrew Paul: "I never heard it called 'Sasaamat,' but ril find out from Haxten. It sounds to me like Tsaa- 
tsmat. You know Tsa-atslum, the cool place out at Point Grey; well, both names are from the same 
derivation, and I presume that the North Arm of the Burrard Inlet might be considered a 'cool place,' 
especially around Indian River." 

Indians. Arrival of first C.P.R. train. 

"You know the story of the Qoitchetahl" (Serpent.) "Well, I have always been told that when the train first 
came down from Port Moody to Vancouver, the Indians along the south shore of the Inlet took fright and 
ran. A great long black snake of a thing with a big black head came twirling along the curves, blowing 
long blasts, Hoooooo, Hoooooo, Hoooooo, and the Indians thought it was a Qoitchetahl coming back." 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 146. 

The name "Kitsilano" and "Khaht-sah-lah-no." 

I have always claimed that the true meaning is "Man of the Lake," i.e., as we use titles Prince of Wales, 
Duke of Connaught, Earl of Derby, etc., etc. The following more or less confirms it. 

From Travel and Adventure in Alaska, 1 868, by Whymper. Copy in City Archives, blue binding, gold 
letters, page 47. "The Indian name for Cowichan Lake is 'Kaatza.'" 

The Cowichan Indians and the Indians at the mouth of the Fraser River were closely allied. If then 
"lanough" or "lano" means "man," then Kaatzalanough, and Khahtsahlahnough are so similar as to be 
indistinguishable when converted into letters of the English language alphabet. Besides, no two Indians 
pronounce their own words exactly alike. 


From Among the An-ko-me-nums by the Rev. Thomas Crosby, 1 907. Copy in City Archives. Page 1 0: 

The Coast Indians are spoken of, generally, as Siwashes, a term which the more intelligent 
resent, and which is taken from the word "Indian" in the Chinook or trade jargon. 

There is some doubt, however, as to the origin of the word "Siwash." By some it is thought to be a 
corruption of the French word "Sauvage" (barbarian) as applied to the Indians by the 
Northwesters generally. But, in all probability, it is a corruption of the generic term "Salish," which 
is given by ethnologists to the whole family. 

(With which reasoning I am in entire disagreement. It's just "savage" changed to suit. J.S. Matthews.) 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 279. 

Indian villages and landmarks, Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound. 

It has been asked — merely that the point be not overlooked — "Is it possible that the Indians could have 
moved their villages after 1791?" 

The answer is, "No, never." As is also the case with their white brethren, Indians went camping in 
summer, and sheltered themselves much as Europeans do, in light, frail coverings. Europeans use tents; 
the Indians used woven mats suspended from poles. When winter came they retired to their warm, 
enduring lodges of cedar slabs, where they were cosy and comfortable; had dances and told tales. To us 


such an existence would seem intolerable, but they had never known anything else, and did not miss 
anything they knew nothing about — such as tea and sugar. 

The known Indian villages in the vicinity of Vancouver have stood in the identical location for centuries 
upon centuries. 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 154. 

Cheakamus. (Station, lake, river, mountain, glacier.) 

Conversation with August Jack Khahtsahlano, Capilano Indian Reserve, at reception to Superintendent 
Larsen, R.C.M.P. at H.M.C.S. Discovery, Wednesday, 13 October 1954. 

Major Matthews: August! What does Cheakamus mean? 

August: "Basket; basket catch fish. Put basket in ripple in river; fish go inside; cannot get out." 

Major Matthews: How long? Long as this motor car? 

August: "Oh no, not that long. About ten feet." 

Major Matthews: How wide? 

August: "'Bout so high" (holding hand level with middle of thigh.) "'Bout three feet." 

Major Matthews: Draw me sketch. 

August: "All right. I draw it." 

Major Matthews: It could be called "Fish Trap River"? 

August: "Why call it that when Cheakamus is better name. It's 'Cheakamus,' that's 'basket 

catch fish.'" 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 280. 

Indians digging for clams. First Narrows. 

On December ninth, tenth, eleventh, 1946, and again on June twentieth and twenty-first, 1947, unusually 
low tides occurred in the First Narrows and remind me of tales I have been told, I think perhaps by some 
whiteman but possibly by Khahtsahlano. 

First Narrows. Whoi-Whoi. Chaythoos. Prospect Point. Brockton Point. Clams. 
Torches. Pitch sticks. 

Indians lived in large numbers at Whoi-Whoi (Lumberman's Arch); fewer at Chaythoos (Pipe Line Road). 
They dug clams, caught fish, for instance, octopi, under rocks, especially the huge boulder now gone. 
Coming at night, through the First Narrows at extreme low tide, just as it turned from ebb to flow, the 
pleasing spectacle presented itself in the darkness, of hundreds of tiny lights, stretching in an uncertain 
line into the distance, glowing in the inky dark shadow of the trees lining the shore of Stanley Park from 
Prospect Point to Brockton Point; not, perhaps, solidly all the way, but more or less continuous in large or 
small numbers. The Indians were harvesting clams from the narrow belt of beach exposed to their spades 
by the extreme low tide. Indians made torches of slivers and fir gum adhering; pitch sticks they called 
them, and they did a lot of night illumination, such [as], for instance, the little fires on boards across their 
canoes covered with mud to prevent the boards from catching fire, which noiseless little fires attracted the 
curiosity of wild fowl, and so brought them close enough to be speared or their necks twisted with a 
forked stick. 

The tide mentioned above was minus 1 .3 feet about midnight on above nights — very, very low, and 
exposed clam beds which may not have been exposed to digging for more than two years. 


Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 140. 

Conversation with August Jacl< Klialitsalilano, my old friend of years, wlio lives still at the Capilano Indian 
Reserve, his home almost directly under the First Narrows Bridge — to the east of it, where he lives with 
his demure little lady and wife, Mary Ann, or Swanamia. The longer I know August the more respect and 
admiration I have for him. He will be 72 next November (1949) and is as kindly a gentleman — and a wise 
one, too — as ever I knew. He came strolling in this morning to see me, nothing especial on his mind, 16 
May 1949. 

August Jack Khahtsahlano. Manatia. Menatalot. 

Major Matthews: What does this mean? It says here on this baptismal certificate of yours signed by 
Father Fregonne in 1 879, that you are the son of Shinoatset (Chinalset) and Menatalot. When you were a 
small boy didn't they call you Menatalot, because you were a baby , and had not been named yet? 

Khahtsahlano: "I don't know positively who Menatalot was. She must have been my godmother. If so, she 
must have been a Sechelt woman. When I was a very little boy I was called Manatia, Man-at-ia. 
Menatalot might have been a half-sister." 

Major Matthews: Pretty name. 

Khahtsahlano: "Then, when I was about twelve, they called my Stay-maulk, Stay-maugh, Staymaughlk." 

Major Matthews: (impetuously) Oh, I give up. (He had been trying to repeat August's pronunciation.) 

Khahtsahlano: "You'll have to get your tongue set right; so that it will click like mine." (Finally, the best 
Major Matthews can do is "Stay-maulk." "So, after a time, they say, 'You getting tired of that name, tired of 
Stay-maulk! We'll give you another name.' So they had a potlatch at Snauq" (Kitsilano Indian Reserve) 
"and called me 'Khahtsahlano.'" 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 141. 

Conversation with Mr. August Jack Khahtsahlano, of Capilano Indian Reserve, where he lives with his 
wife, Mary Ann, or Swanamia (her Squamish name) who very kindly called at my home, 1 1 58 Arbutus 
Street, Kitsilano, this afternoon, 21 May 1949, for a chat. We took easy chairs and sat out on the lawn 
under the trees. Mr. Khahtsahlano, grandson of Old Chief Khahtsahlanogh, in whose honour "Kitsilano," 
Vancouver, is named, will be 72 next November (1949). He was born on the False Creek Indian Reserve, 
son of Khay-tulk, or "Supplejack," and his wife Qwhy-wat. He is six feet tall. His hair has been jet black. 
Although he does not read nor write, he is the best informed Indian I know of, and his remarks on Indian 
life, customs and lore are very reliable. J.S.M. 

August Jack Khahtsahlano. 

Major Matthews: (fingering August's hair as he sat) What's this, Khahtsahlano? White hairs? (Just a few.) 

August: (smiling) "I must be getting old." 

Major Matthews: Good gracious! What's happened to your hands? They're whiter than mine. What have 
you been doing to them? 

(Mr. Khahtsahlano's hands were formerly as brown as any Indian's hands, but are now as white as any 

August: "Been using too much whiteman's soap, I guess, and washed all the colour out" (of his skin.) 

Birth of Indian babies. 

Major Matthews: August, you told me once that from three to five thousand Indians lived in and about 
Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound before the whitemans came. How many Indian babies do you suppose 
would be born in twelve months — one year? Do you think one hundred babies would be born? 

August: "One hundred! More than that; more than one hundred. Healthy babies, too." 


Major Matthews: They had no hospitals, no doctors, no nurse. What did they do when a baby came? 
Whitemans got hospitals, doctors, nurses; big fuss when baby come. Nurses got white clothes, tie 
something over their mouth so's baby no breathe nurse's breath; got to look at baby through glass 
window up at Grace Hospital. What do you think about that? 

August: "Indian womans not have baby in house. When Indian womans going to have baby she go out. 
Too much noise in house. Go somewhere where it is quiet; in house too much noise. No doctor, no nurse, 
but lots friends. Another woman's help." 

Major Matthews: Well, where did she go? Go out in the cold; go out in the rain? 

August: "Klis-kwis. Make klis-kwis. In some quiet place. Maybe, if Indian woman what's going to have 
baby is strong, she make klis-kwis herself. Have baby in klis-kwis. Quiet." 

(A klis-kwis is a sort of tent, made of poles covered with closely woven mats of cedar bark, etc., 
commonly used when Indians travel, especially in summer.) 

Major Matthews: You think many baby die? 

August: "Nooooooo. Baby healthy. Now babies got T.B. But those babies healthy. No T.B. Not feed baby 
out of bottle; no bottle. Not get milk out of can. They's got no canned milk. They's give mother stuff to 
drink; make it from herbs. They put hot water on her breasts. Make it" (poultice) "with cedar bark; that's to 
make milk come. No bottle for Indian baby; they's healthy. Now all the time T.B." 

Wild pigeons. 

Major Matthews: August, I've been reading a book written long time ago — 1862 — nearly hundred years 
ago. {Travels in British Columbia, 1862, by Capt. C.E. Barrett-Lennard. Page 160: "Vast flocks of wild 
pigeons are occasionally seen.) And it says that there used to be lots of wild pigeons. You remember 
telling me, long time ago, about wild pigeons? How big were those pigeons? 

August: "About as big as a tame pigeon. One time lots of pigeons. They not stay; they just feed and go on 
to next place. Where there be lots of berries they come; lots of pigeons. Then, after they eat berries, they 
go. They go some other place where there are more berries. Pigeons not stop in same place all the time." 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 279. 

Indian spear point and tool sharpening stone from Tsawwassen Beach. 

Conversation with Andrew Herbert Mitchell, 1215 West 7*^ Avenue, brother [of] the late Alex Mitchell, 
Secretary, Vancouver Pioneers Association, who, very kindly, came carrying a small parcel in his hand, 
which he opened, 16 September 1949. 

Indian relics from Tsawwassen Beach. 

Mr. Mitchell: "I dug this flint spear point" (six inches long) "and this broken piece of reddish whetstone" 
(shale) "out of my garden — two lots, right on the top of the hill, English Bluff Road, east side, I think the 
number of one of my lots is 24, down at Tsawwassen Beach near Point Roberts. That was about 1 946. 

"I was planting potatoes. How deep they were originally I don't know because I had had a bulldozer 
clearing the ground of roots and stumps, but when I got them they were down about twelve inches. So I 
give them to your City Archives." 

Note: the two relics have been marked, as to what they are, in India ink. J.S.M. 


Eye glasses. 

Davidson Bros., Jewellers, advertised "Spectacles, spectacles," World, 10 April 1889, page 2. 

How our aboriginal Indians did for eye glasses when their sight grew poorer, I don't know — did without I 
suppose. I know that I have been told — by Khahtsahlano — that old Chief Ki-ap-a-lano (Capilano) was 
almost blind when he died. 

Then came the first white men. What they did I don't know, but imagine they did nothing, because they 
could not. I do know that we have an old spectacle case made out of a horn of some animal in one of our 
show cases. It is crudely made, but must have taken much pains on the part of someone. I presume that 
when eye glasses were required by a pioneer, he had to sent to San Francisco or Portland — or even 
England — and take what was sent; sent from his description of his deficiency in sight. 

What I do recall — from actual knowledge — that when George E. Trorey had his jewellery store on 
Cordova Street, south side, just west of Abbott Street — before he moved to Hastings Street and sold out 
to Henry Birks and Sons — that he had a tray of eye glasses — all sorts — on the counter and a person 
requiring a pair just tired on one after the other until he got what he wanted. He, or she, just picked out 
one as a man picks out a smoking pipe today; the one which suited his taste and fancy. There were few, 
if any, of the pinz-nez (sic) type. They were all "spectacles" with folding "arms" to go behind the ear. I 
have no recollection of what they cost, but I do know that in one old newspaper I have seen them 
advertised — about 1890 — at 15 cents and 25 cents per pair. But, I rather think that Trorey charged more 
than that, and as high as $5.00 per pair. 

The first optician I recall was a man who called himself "Doctor" Jordan. We winced a little at the "doctor" 
part. He, apparently, had come from the United States and was rather startling in his up-to-date methods. 
What intrigued us most was a machine — common now — which he set up in his ground floor office or store 
in the new DeBeck Building, about halfway between Hamilton and Homer Street, south side, about 
1899 — early in the year. He had his reception room all carpeted, and a few plants, or palms, scattered 
about. It was a revelation to us. He had one arm and, of course, he charged according to the grandeur — 
grandeur to us who had seen eye glasses picked out of a tray at Trorey's. However, he was well 
patronised and stayed in business for some years. There is something written about him in his docket, I 
think. But, he was undoubtedly the first optician to attract special notice. There may have been earlier 
opticians, but they were associated as an adjunct to a jeweller. It may have been that Lyttleton Bros., 
jewellers, had an optician on their staff. There were so few who required glasses. All Vancouver was 
comprised of young men and women. There were few grey hairs in the city. 

Of course, in time, qualified eye specialists set up in business in office buildings. That would be about 
1 903 or 1 904. I forget the name of the first one, but his office was on the west side of Granville Street, just 
south of the Post Office on the corner of Pender Street. He did well. He did not make or sell glasses, but 
simply prescribed what was wanted. I know he charged about $1 0.00 for prescribing a tiny glass for rifle 
shooting purposes on the rifle range, and the glasses themselves cost $5.00 thereabouts. But all this is 
changed now, 1949. Opticians are everywhere, and their prices run from $20.00 upwards. 

J.S. Matthews 

31 December 1949. 


Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 147. 

Men-ah-tia. Honorary Chief Charles Warren Cates of North Vancouver. 

At an Indian ceremonial festival held near the Keith Road Bridge, North Vancouver, on the evening of 1 
July 1950, Captain Charles Warren Cates, pioneer, of C.H. Cates and Sons, Ltd., was created Chief 
Menahtia by the North Vancouver Squamish Indians. Simon Baker, Indian, was Master of Ceremonies. 
Captain Cates was presented with a talking stick by his sponsor, the very estimable Indian gentleman, 
August Jack Khahtsahlano. Mr. Khahtsahlano, in his youth, was known as Menahtia, which is the 
masculine of Menatlot, or Men-atel-lot, the name of his stepmother. See Squamish Indian Names, page 
2, Matthews. 

According to Captain Cates, he was told by Mr. Khahtsahlano that in the beginning the world was without 
life and empty. Then a tree grew out of the ground — a single tree. It had a stem, and two large leaves, 
one on either side of a flower. Ultimately the flower turned into a man's face; the two leaves changed their 
form into arms, the trunk of the tree split in two to form two legs, and thus was created the first man, who 
was Menahtia. 

As told to me by Captain Cates this afternoon, 31 July 1950. 

J.S. Matthews. 

The legend of Stah-pus or Staw-pus. (Andys Bay.) Gambier Island. 

Captain Charles Warren Cates, of Messrs. C.H. Cates and Sons, Ltd., North Vancouver, is well versed on 
Indian lore, but it should not be overlooked that he is a "whitemans" telling a Squamish Indian legend as 
he recalls what Squamish Indians have told him, and so is liable to err. J.S.M. 

Captain Cates to Major Matthews, 19 June 1951. 

"Stah-pus? Stah-pus? That's right in Andys Bay, west side, Gambier Island. In Squamish Indian 
mythology, the wren is called 'tha-tum-tum'; that's long ago when Indian birds and men were 
interchangeable to suit. Tha-tum-tum was recognised as a 'great man.' The mink was 'ky-ah.' In Indian 
times the men who could 'throw' the biggest potlatch were the biggest 'shots.' The mink decided he would 
'throw' a potlatch at Stah-pus, which is a place like the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park; music bowl; 
overhanging cliff. So the mink ky-ah, his name when in man form, decided to invite all and sundry to his 
potlatch, including the whale, known as 'quinace.' According to the Squamish Indian, the whale cannot 
swim backwards. And they had a whole lot offish, and when all this bowl full of people were in the bowl, 
the whale came in and began greedily eating the fish, and plugged the hole, or mouth of the bowl. All the 
other guests were inside. 

"As was common at most potlatches, most of the Indian chiefs boasted of their own importance, and tha- 
tum-tum, the wren, got up and sang a song, and the song was, 'tum tum chin see-ampt,' that means, 'I 
am the greatest chief.' He sang it twice. 'Man ho-ich-in see-ampt'; that means 'I am the greatest chief; 
'alia whale muh,' that means 'of everybody.' The mink ky-ah knew that this was true, and it made him 
jealous. The mink was married to 'Smum-aht-sin' who was a skunk, and she and her relations were in the 
hole with the other guests. 

"When Ky-ah, the mink, could stand the 'tum-tum' no longer, Ky-ah started to sing, and he sang, 'Showts 
kah; showts kah; kwun shwa tay-uk, tay-uk.' That was, apparently, an obscene song about the skunk, and 
with that Ky-ah's wife, 'Smum-aht-sin,' the skunk, and all her relations, 'let go.' 

"The whale was in the hole and could not swim backwards. The wren and the blue jay can fly straight up, 
and when they saw, and smelled, what was happening, they shot up through a hole in the roof of the 
bowl, and got away. The remainder of the guests were suffocated, and the whale died, and turned into 
stone, and is there yet at Stah-pus; that's Andys Bay." 

City Archives, City Hall, 


19 June 1951. 


From Squamish Indian names, Matthews, 1931-1940, a collection of names, 
Squamish Indian Villages, Landmarks and Persons, Burrard Inlet and Howe 

Page 65: 


According to the reliable authority, August Jack Khahtsahlano, (Kitsilano). 

A cave, or overhanging rock above a ledge, which, together, form an open mouth cave on the 
west coast of Gambler Island. It is on a point a short distance south of mountain marked on maps 
"31 76 feet." There is — or was — a log shoot about a quarter of a mile south of Stah-pus. The 
Squamish Indian legend is that the skunks held a potlatch in the cave; the skunks gathered the 
fish, and put them in the cave so that they could have a big feast. The cave — not a real cave, but 
an overhanging rock roof with ledge below — is about eighty feet long, and fifteen feet above high 

Another legend is that a whale was jambed lengthwise along the mouth of the cave, and thus 
jambed all the little fish in between the whale's body and the walls of the cave; the little fish could 
not get out, and the skunks gobbled them all up. 

Meaning : pus, a beach, i.e., an overhanging beach. 

See narrative, according to Captain Charles Warren Cates, above. 

See also Conversations with Kliaiitsaiilano, 1955, Matthews. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_044 


[photo annotation:] 

For full details, read conversation with Khahtsahlano, June 1942. 

He wore it at request of his friend, Major J. S. Matthews. 

7 June 1942 

5 March 1952 

August Jack Khahtsahlano, son of Khay-tulk (Supplejack), grandson of Chief Khahts-sah-lah-nogh, in 
whose honour the Canadian Pacific Railway named Kitsilano. 

August: (seated beside Major Matthews, gossiping) "I don't think much whitemans." 

Major Matthews: What are you grousing about now? 

August: "You run down to your office in morning; you run back for your lunch; you run back to 

your office; you run home for your dinner; you run down town picture show; you run 
home to go bed." (Indignantly) "What you trying to do? Running to your grave?" 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 245. 

Cannon ball and Indian lacrosse. 

On April 24*^, 1 952, whilst digging in her garden at Kitsilano, Mrs. T. Saffin, 1 938 York Street, unearthed a 
second cannon ball, moulded iron, two inches diameter, one pound one ounce weight. It was found within 
about twenty feet of the place where, a month previously, she had dug up a larger cannon ball of moulded 
iron, three inches diameter, weight over four pounds. Both were heavily encrusted with iron rust due to 
the wet ground, but we easily cleaned it. 


At the same time, Mrs. Saffin found in her garden soil, a smooth drab coloured oval stone, four and three 
quarter inches by four inches, weight three pounds two ounces. Except in colour it is very similar to our 
authentic TCK-KWALIA stone, four inches diameter, weight three pounds six ounces, very smooth and 
black. The black stone was found some years ago by August Jack Khahtsahlano (Kitsilano) in the same 
vicinity, i.e., the former Squamish Indian village of False Creek known as Snauq, where he once lived. He 
presented it to the City Archives, who had it mounted with explanatory inscription in metal beneath. 

TCK-KWALIA, or the game of Squamish Indian lacrosse, was played without sticks or nets on open 
spaces about Squamish villages by teams of six men on each side. The ball was thrown and caught by 
hand. Goal posts were about six feet apart. 

We have no actual knowledge that the drab oval stone found by Mrs. Saffin, being similar in size and 
weight but not colour, is another TCK-KWALIA ball. It may be. And, it may be that the two small iron 
cannon balls — all three found in the same garden — were used as substitutes for round smooth stones. 
August Jack Khahtsahlano says it is a Tch-qualla. 

A notable fact is that the particular locality in which these relics were found is very close to the former 
Indian village of Snauq, and is, more or less, between the site of the Indian salmon weir, or dam, near the 
corner of Cedar Street (Burrard) and Third Avenue; their burial ground was close at hand, and their 
homes a short distance away on the shore. 

J.S. Matthews 
City Archivist 

City Archives 
City Hall, 
1 May 1952. 


Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 143. 

Conversation with August Jacl< Klialitsalilano, of Lower Capilano Indian Reserve, wlio, in response to my 
invitation to cliecl< tine genealogy sheet of the Capilano family which I have prepared, called at the City 

Mr. Khahtsahlano came carrying a long duck spear, a pole seven feet and three and one-half inches long, 
of wood with a finger piece at one end, and a three pronged fork of three iron spikes, eight and one-half 
inches each, and with each spike jagged, at the other end. He laid it down. 

13 August 1954. 

Spear for ducks. 

Major Matthews: What's this, August? 

Mr. Khahtsahlano: "Duck spear; for spearing ducks. It too long, so I cut it short so can bring it in bus. 
Willie made it. It been standing outside long time, standing in the earth, and the ends rotted, so I cut the 
rotten end off and put the iron spears back and bind them on. See how I bind it!" (He used cherry tree 

Major Matthews: How much did you cut off? How long was it before you cut it? Sorry you cut it. 

Mr. Khahtsahlano: "I cut off about fifteen feet. It was about twenty-six feet long when Willie made it." 

(Note: Willie was his brother, Indian name Khay-tulk, the same as their father Khay-tulk, or as known to 
white men. Supplejack.) 

Major Matthews: Use it in canoe? Sneak up on duck at night, with little pitch fire on platform with mud on 
the bow? 

Mr. Khahtsahlano: "Yes." 

Major Matthews: Give it a twist and break duck's neck? 

Mr. Khahtsahlano: "No. Just spear him." 

Major Matthews: How much I owe you? 

Mr. Khahtsahlano: "Nothing. I owe you." 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_045 


Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 144. 
Capilano family genealogy. 

August 13, 1954. 


Major Matthews: August, Andy Paull write a lot of silly stuff about the Capilano family. About how "Old 
Man" Ki-ap-a-la-no met Captain Cook in 1782; three years after Captain was murdered. They put up a big 
gravestone at the North Vancouver Indian Cemetery to Mrs. Chief Tom, that is, Tutamaht, with a lot of 
historical rubbish on it. What do you know about all this? (Explains it to him as August cannot read.) 

Tutamaht. Mrs. Chief Tom. 

Mr. Khahtsahlano: "I don't know who was the Indian chief who met Captain Vancouver. No one does; too 
far back. I do not remember 'Old Man' Ki-ap-a-lano; never see him. Don't know anything about 
Paytsmauq, brother to the old chief, or half brother. I remember Chief Lahwa. He drown — somebody's 
push him overboard. Mary Jane's father, and Edith's, her sister, was a white man. They not full Indian. 
Chief Mathias's son, Buffalo, has no Indian name. Mathias say he has. I say he has not. He never given 
an Indian name." 


"All nonsense about Capilano Creek not having an Indian name. The Indian village was Homulchesun, 
and the creek was Homulchesun Creek. Squamish not separate them and give one name to the creek 
and another to their houses. That would be silly. The village and the creek just one place — 

The Mission. North Vancouver. Rancherie. Hastings Sawmill. 

"Nobodies much live at 'The Mission,' North Vancouver, until the train came" (Canadian Pacific Railway.) 
"All the peoples who work in the Hastings Sawmill live in their cabins on the beach east of the sawmill" 
(about the foot of Campbell Avenue, and known as the "Rancherie.") "They have their houses down there, 
and have Indian dances in them. Then, when the train come, they told they got to go away. The railway 
go right through their houses. The railwaymen pull their houses down. They's no place to go." 

Chief George. Seymour Creek. 

"So they ask Chief George of Seymour Creek if they can go there and he say, 'No. You not belong here.' 
So they goes to 'The Mission,' North Vancouver." 

Capilano genealogy. 

Major Matthews: Well, what about the family history of Capilano I have prepared? What shall I do with it? I 
give a copy to Tim Moody. He promised to examine it and let me know if it is correct. I write him, phone 
him; he do nothing and won't send it back. 

Mr. Khahtsahlano: "You give me. I take it home and find out." 

Note: August's children are scholars. One can use a typewriter. He will probably show it to them and I 
shall hear from him. He cannot read nor write himself. Very splendid man, reliable, and never makes up 
"fancy" Indian stories, good only for tourists. 

J.S. Matthews. 


Conversation with Mr. Frederick Kilby, who came to Vancouver with his parents, 
George and Elizabeth Kilby, 8 October 1887, now of 8745 Aberdeen Street, 
Central Park, Vancouver, and who kindly called at the City Archives this 
afternoon, and remained to tea, 20 january 1953. 

George Kilby. Elizabeth Kilby. Frederick Kilby. 

Mr. Kilby: "I was born in Gainesville, Virginia, U.S.A., 11* January 1873. Gainesville is near where the 
Battle of Bull Run was fought; it was a little town then and is a little town now. My father's parents went 
there after the War, some relatives had a tobacco plantation, but Dad did not like it, so about 1879, they 
went to Callendar, North Bay, Ontario. Father had land there in C.P.R. construction days. He had the 
place surveyed into a townsite, but the C.P.R. did not buy us out. We finally sold out what land we had left 
for five hundred dollars, and glad to get it. You know it is not a very fertile place, lots of rocks. Then 
Father followed the Canadian Pacific Railway through. That was how we came to Vancouver, October 8*^ 

"I was about fifteen when we arrived, and went to the Oppenheimer School, down by Jackson Avenue, for 
a year or so. Father was a carpenter, and we were living down on Park Avenue, on the corner of Prior 
Street, on the edge of False Creek shore, all filled in now and part of the park in front of the G.N. and 
C.N.R. railway stations." 

park avenue. oppenheimer street school. false creek school. mount pleasant 

"Afterwards we went to live on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Westminster Road, now the corner of 
Broadway and Kingsway, and I went to the Mount Pleasant School. At that time the school consisted of 
one small building; two more small buildings, one on each side, were added afterwards. I think one of 
those buildings is still standing on the school property — close to Kingsway." 

Miss McDougall. Miss Robinson. Mr. Jamieson. Teachers. 

"They used to introduce Mr. Jamieson as the first teacher at the Mount Pleasant School. He was not the 
first. Miss McDougall was the first; then came Miss Robinson or Robertson, and Mr. Jamieson came 


"Then we moved; moved up to Fifteenth Avenue; about as far as we could go and still live in the City; the 
City boundary was Sixteenth. Back of Westminster Avenue, now Main Street, was a street called Howard 
Street, a sort of lane to Westminster Avenue. Our house faced Fifteenth Avenue; we were on the 
northeast corner of Howard and Fifteenth; the house is there yet. We had to build a bridge over the creek 
to get the lumber for the house in." 

Major Matthews: Ever see the beaver dam? 

Mr. Kilby: "Part of it was on our property; we had it full of white Pekin ducks." 

WEST End. Wages. Howe Street horse races. 

"I spent a few years carpentering with Dad. Mostly we built houses in the West End, and got $1 .75 for ten 
hours. Trails everywhere in the West End; trail to English Bay beach, and horse races on Howe Street. 

"Then, for a year or two, I went prospecting up Lillooet, and after that timber cruising; Powell Lake, Bute 
Inlet; all up the coast. I must have walked a thousand miles in the bush." 




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Item # EarlyVan_v7_046 



[photo annotation:] 

Lillooet-Burrard Inlet Trail, south of Mount Garibaldi, 1952. A.H. Cameron, in "Early Vancouver," 
Matthews, Vol. 4, p. 106 [of original volume], states that in the summer of 1875 he worked on the building 
of this trail at a point 20 miles up Seymour Creek. It was twelve feet wide, graded three feet in the centre, 
and the centre covered with "mattox" to walk on. Cameron relates "but only four bands of cattle, about 
three hundred to a band, ever came out that way." This photo was taken after the B.C. Electric power line 
was built from Bridge River, and improved it. This photo is south of Garibaldi, and was taken in August, 
1952, by Captain H.L. Cadieux, 1048 Esquimalt St, West Vancouver, and by him presented to the (see 
companion photo) City Archives. J.S.M. 

Seymour Creek Trail. Lillooet Trail. 

"Once I walked to Squamish on the Lillooet Trail — up Seymour Creek." 

Note: after presenting Mr. Kilby with four photographs — one of the three small wooden Mount Pleasant 
School building; one looking down hill from Seventh Avenue, 1887; one looking up towards Mount 
Pleasant from the False Creek bridge, 1890; and one of Hastings at Seymour in 1888-9 — he continued: 

"Crazy George." 

"'Crazy George' used to live at the bottom of the hill in a little shack about eight by eight. On a fine day he 
would sit outside it and play away for all he was worth on his piccolo. When we asked him how he was, 
he would talk. Once he said, pointing to the north, 'See those mountains; they were little hills when I came 
here.' Another time, he said that at the time he arrived they were digging out the First Narrows so that the 
ships could get in. He did not mean dredging the Narrows; he meant they were digging a channel in the 

Major Matthews: Mr. Kilby, you've done a lot of timber cruising. What was the biggest tree you ever saw? 

Big trees, Point Grey. Twelve feet diameter. Kilby family. 

Mr. Kilby: "Down in Puget Sound at a saw mill; it was a log in the water, but it had come from our logging 
camps in Point Grey. It was a Douglas fir and was twelve feet in diameter. 

"My first wife died; no children. I married in 1 91 7, Baptist Church, and Mrs. Kilby is at home today, quite 
well. We have three children. My daughter. Miss Elsie, works at the Public Library. She writes plays, too. 
Roy, my eldest son, is in the printing business in Burnaby. Business of his own. married, one son about 
two. Lloyd works in the Willson Stationery Co., on Pender Street." 

We had been talking a long time. As Mr. Kilby is 80 and I am 75, we were both getting a little tired, so we 
decided we had done enough for one afternoon. 

J.S. Matthews. 

20 January 1953. 


[Correspondence with John A. Kirkpatrick.] 

2930 Pine Street 
Vancouver B C 
June 11'^ 

Major Matthews 
City Hall 

Dear Major 

Re our little talk some time ago about the Memorial Window for our late Colonel Warden. 
I regret that I have been unable to call and see you and our telephone connection does not seem 
to be very good with yours, and possibly neither of us have as good hearing as we had fifty years 
ago so I am writing this note to give you my opinion about having an appropriate ceremony on the 
unveiling of the Window. 

I have discussed this matter with several of the members of the 102"*^ Batt. and 
association, and there appears to be more discension among these men than ever. Some of 
them are annoyed that the old Association was allowed to go out of existence and others that 
another Association was formed under the same name and they were not notified and that the 
new association never did function, and others are more or less just disgruntled. I am of the 
opinion that we would not get a very harmonious gathering for this or any other ceremony at the 
present time. 

The whole credit for keeping the old Association together for so many years is due to you 
1 00% and I know that you have always received more kicks than compliments for your efforts. 
We were handicapped by a very enthusiastic and very incompetent Secretary and Treasurer who 
never kept any books or even a list of the men and their addressees, so that we have little or 
nothing of any useful records are in existence. 

Whatever you decide to do is agreeable to me but I do not believe that we could get a 
very enthusiastic gathering of the old 1 02"'' men unless they were promised an issue of rum and 
beer after the ceremony and many would not be willing to await the close of the ceremony for the 

I am pleased to know that the Council are at last beginning to appreciate the great value 
of your work and are granting you a more remunerative salary and I wish you many years of 
active service and good health to enjoy the salary and retiring allowances. 

With kind regards and good wishes to your Wife and self, 

I remain 

Yours respt 

John A. Kirkpatrick 

Note: see below. 

Note: Captain Kirkpatrick was Paymaster of the 102"'' Battalion, "North British Columbians" from its 
establishment, 1916, to its demobilisation in 1919. J.S.M. 


14* June 1947. 



DearCapt. Kirkpatrick: 

Thank you for your letter. 

I think these facts ought to be made known. 

First: That in 1945 the Canteen fund brought back from France became exhausted; it had 

lasted 27 years. Originally a little under $5,000 every cent was used to aid ex-members, 
and, of later years, to defray the small deficits which followed each annual dinner. No 
officer received a single dollar from the fund. When, finally, it was reported to National 
Defence Headquarters that the fund had gone, the General Officer Commanding wrote 
complimenting on its careful disbursement. Most regimental canteen funds disappeared 
in three or four years after the battalion returned. 

Second: About 1 921 , seven hundred and fifty dollars was raised and a tablet designed, now in 
Christ Church Cathedral, to commemorate our Fallen. A booklet was printed for 
circulation, and, of course, cost money. 

Third: About 1937, a duplicate set of 102"*^ Regimental Colors was made for Bishop Rix's 
church in Prince Rupert. They cost $250, and were sent as a gift. 

Fourth: In 1 947, a stained glass window to the memory of Colonel Warden was placed in Christ 
Church Cathedral. It cost $250. 

The synopsis is that the "other ranks" members of the battalion got all of the $5,000 
canteen fund, and very few contributed to the items 2, 3 and 4. The officers got none of the 
$5,000, and contributed all of the $1,250 in these three items, and in addition, a very large sum, 
perhaps as much as $2,000 to various laudable matters such as the deficits on the re-union 
banquets, which often ran as much as $100 a banquet. 

The two wooden memorials from Vimy Ridge were brought back, and one placed in the 
City Museum here and the other in the church at Prince Rupert. 

A compilation of nine volumes, bound in fabricoid leather, of the activities of the 102"^^ 
from 1915 to 1919 — as well as a record since — were prepared, and are preserved in the City 
Archives, Vancouver. 

For some years — about 12 — a very complete roll of the names and addresses of all ex- 
members was kept; at the end of that time it was turned over to others as I felt I had done it long 
enough; it was time for someone else to take a turn. 

A banquet was held every year for about 27 or 28 years; no other battalion did this 
regularly, without an omission, for so long. 

About two years ago, a telephone message reached me that the secretary was leaving 
town. No books or monies were turned over to me, nor so far as I know anyone else. I have not 
heard from the secretary since. The date for the October banquet drew near in 1 945. I phoned a 
number requesting their aid; there was no response; the proper dinner date passed, and "no 
dinner." I therefore called together about twelve of the more responsible ex-members of the 102""^ 
as my personal guests at a dinner at the Hotel Georgia. This was a month or more after the re- 
union dinner date had passed. We discussed the situation, and before leaving elected a 
committee to carry on, and decided on a battalion dinner next year. (There was some reason why 
you did not attend; you were ill or out of town.) 


Last October, 1 946, I called for the opinion of this committee as to whether a dinner 
should be held; the majority said "no." However, an ex-member called upon me re the dinner. I 
urged him to aid in getting one up; gave him a list of names to start with, and offered to pay the 
initial expenses. I also gave him a book for a register. He went away; did not return, and I have 
not heard from him since. 

It was a lamentable thing that these annual re-unions ceased. I am a very much 
overworked man; my day does not end when the office closes; it is impossible for me to take time 
to get up these re-unions. Had I not been so pre-occupied they would not have ceased. 

My heartfelt gratitude goes to you for your long and devoted interest in the gallant men of 
the 102"''. I grasp your hand. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Capt. J.A. Kirkpatrick 
2930 Pine St 

Annore Creek, Lake Buntzen. 

Conversation with Franklin John Lancaster, 6876 Cypress Street, where he is building a new home, and 
who is associated with Geo. H. Hees Son & Co. Ltd., 347 Water Street. The conversation was over the 
phone, 27 May 1947. 

Mr. and Mrs. F.J. Lancaster. Annore Creek. Lake Buntzen. 

Mr. Lancaster to Major Matthews: 

"In 1912 I came to British Columbia from St. Mary's, Ontario, and acquired a tract of land north of 
Sunnyside, near loco, at the time when the government put that land in that area up for sale in 1914. I 
homesteaded it. 

"A creek came down the hillside and emptied into the northeast side of Lake Buntzen. I built a cabin, and 
planted a few fruit trees, and, for a time, lived there although I was in business at 25*^ and Main" (dry 
goods.) "The Port Moody Sand and Gravel Co., who had gravel bunkers at Sunnyside, and water rights 
on an unnamed creek adjacent to my property, built a flume, and took water from my unnamed creek on 
my property. So I took an axe and broke the flume, and restored the creek to its rightful course." 

Note: the Land Department, Victoria, say that F.J. Lancaster applied for water rights on 19 November 
1914, and submitted a sketch on which his creek is marked "ANNORE." 

"I then applied for water rights and that required that the creek be named. I married Miss Annie Maude 
Douglas, born in Newcastle, Ontario, and we have one daughter, Leonore, born in St. Mary's, Ontario, 
and now Mrs. W.D. Squires, 1781 West 60'^ Avenue, all three of us living. 

"So I took the first three letters of my wife's name, and the last three of my daughter's, and compound the 
name ANNORE." 

As told to me. 

J.S. Matthews 


R ^ 

^J 5 ri -^ 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_047 


[photo annotation:] 

Looking up Lawson Avenue Hollyburne B.C. 

West Vancouver, 1912. Hollyburn, Lawson Ave, now 17"^. Dominion Govt wliarf, wliere first West 
Vancouver Ferry Co (private company, inc. 25 Feb. 1910) boat landed. Gasoline street lamp, before 
electric light. "Navvy Jack's" old gravel pit. L. to R. : - John Lawson's house, formerly "Navvy Jack's" 
(John Thomas) and first Post Office; Lawson's orchard on "Navvy Jack's" old property. Lawson's office 
(white building), Lawson's concrete sidewalk, built and paid for by himself; Lawson Ave, only street 100 
feet wide. Behind Lawson's house is his high barn; behind his white office verandah post is Archibald's, 
real estate (afterwards City Clerk, North Van'cr). High building on s.w. corner of Marine Drive, is first store 
& second P.O. Store bidg owned Lawson, operated Ferguson. Lawson, first postmaster. Distant tent used 
as first "Municipal Hall," summer 1912, beside it, behind lamp, new "Municipal Hall." Freight shed with log 
float for freight, bricks and barbed wire on end. J. Ollason's (afterwards Municipal Clerk) real estate office 
behind freight shed. Old lady lived in white cottage on right, and supplied occasional cup of tea to 
strangers. Details of description supplied by J. Ollason, his conversation, April 11* 1939. J.S. 

Matthews, City Archives. 

Conversation with John Lawson, Esq., pioneer. West Vancouver, 1905, and his 


Hollyburn, West Vancouver, 8 September 1949. 


Not having spoken to Mr. Lawson since about 1931 (see Early Vancouver, Vol. 1), and having unearthed 
two photographs taken about 1910 by Bullen and Lamb, photographers, marked "CLEARING ON THE 
VANCOUVER," I sought to visit him at his home, 680 Seventeenth Street, and in return, received a 
cordial invitation to dinner. 

On arrival at his residence, built of granite, and surrounded with flowers, on the southeast corner of 
Esquimalt and Seventeenth Street (old Lawson Avenue), I found Mr. Lawson, aged 89 — he was born at 
Peel, Ontario, 15 April 1860 — midst his flowers awaiting me; for his age he is exceptionally active, and 
reads the smallest print without glasses, and takes an active interest in current affairs. We entered his 
home, and seated ourselves in a very large reception room, with open fireplace, and presently his 
daughter. Miss Gertrude Lawson, a most charming lady who teaches school daily, entered. I opened my 
papers and commenced by showing Mr. Lawson the photo marked "HOLLYBURN GOLF COURSE." 

Hollyburn Golf Course. John Hart, pioneer. Municipal Hall. 

Mr. Lawson: "The Hollyburn Golf Course was to be from the waterfront back to the north of Haywood 
Avenue, and from 1 6* Street to 1 8"^ Street. I owned it at that time, but the cost of clearing and the taxes 
upset things. It never was used for golf; that must have been about 1910." 

Major Matthews: This white house, with five white verandah posts on the front and four on the side, here 
in the distance, what was that, Mr. Lawson? 

Mr. Lawson: "John Hart — not the premier, but a West Vancouver pioneer — built that; I don't know when it 
was built. Wait till I go and ask Mrs. Hart, his widow; she lives with us." (On his return, Mr. Lawson said 
Mrs. Hart thought it was 1909.) "Let's go and look at it." (We went out, crossed the lawn, walked down 
Esquimalt Avenue in front of the Municipal Hall, to the northeast corner of Esquimalt and Sixteenth 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_048 


[photo annotation:] 

Hollyburn Golf Course, West Vancouver 

Bullen & Lamb Photo 

Photographed from Marine Drive, about 100 feet west of Lawson, i.e. 17* St. 

Hollyburn Post Office, 17* St. stands here on lower corner of photo. The tall tree stood about 75 feet west 
of 17*, nr Duchess. 

Lawson Ave, now 1 7* St. This clump of trees stood in centre of Seventeenth St, just below Esquimalt 
Ave. Near Mr. Lawson's home. 

The Municipal Hall stands to the left of the white house. Huge pile of roots behind horses. 

John Hart's white house, circa 1909, on n.e. cor. Esquimalt & 16*. Standing in 1949. Tall spikes are 
remains of forest fives, 1884. 

Hollyburn, West Vancouver, 1910. Looking northeast from corner of Marine Drive (old Keith Road) and 
Seventeenth street (old Lawson Ave). The twigs shown at the top right hand corner of this photo are part 
of a tree which stood on the north east corner of Marine Drive and Seventeenth Street. The white house, 
erected about 1 909, still stands on the north east corner, of Esquimalt Ave and Sixteenth St. It was built 
for John Hart, and, in Sept. 1949, is a municipal home for old people. The "Municipal Hall" stands to the 
left of the white house, upon half a block of land, facing Esquimalt Ave, & between 16* and 17* streets. 
The site was the gift of John Lawson, whose wife's sister was Mrs. John Hart. "I owned the land then," 
said Mr. Lawson, on Sept. 8, 1949, "The golf course was to be from the waterfront to north of Haywood 
Ave, and between 1 6* and 1 8* Sts, but the cost of clearing and the taxes upset things." C.V. Out. P. 86 
N. City Archives. J. S.M. 

Mr. Lawson (continuing and pointing) "That's John Hart's old house. The Municipality uses it now for an 
old person's home. John Hart married my wife's sister." 

The house has been slightly altered by building a fire escape in front; the ornamental trees have grown 
high but otherwise, it looks the same as it did when erected 40-odd years ago, at which time it was the 
only house in sight. Today every lot has its home. Mr. Lawson and I then retraced our steps, and, as we 
passed the Municipal Hall, which is almost opposite his residence, he remarked: 

Municipal Hall, West Vancouver. D.L. 775. 

Mr. Lawson: "I owned this land around here — D.L. 775. I wanted the Municipal Hall built up here, so I 
made the Municipality an offer that I would donate the site, and they accepted it. I gave them from 1 6* to 
1 7*, and back to the lane; that is, the block facing Esquimalt Avenue, and the Municipal Hall was built. It 
was all cleared and in grass. There it is — look at it. But do not run away with the idea that I was a 
philanthropist. It was, you might call it, a business deal. I wanted the Municipal Hall built there, and was 
willing to give the land to get what I wanted. My offer was accepted." 


This photograph was taken from the corner of Lawson Avenue and Keith Road; that is. Seventeenth 
Street and Marine Drive, looking northeast. Not only is the precise location from which it was taken 
identified by the angles of the house — the south side much long than the west side — but by a few twigs of 
a tree which stood on the northeast corner of Seventeenth and Marine. This tree, leafless in winter, 
appears — the only one of its kind — in photograph Out. P. 207, N. 89, so that it is clear that this photo 
depicts the very busy commercial settlement of Hollyburn of 1949 as it appeared forty years previously, 
and it also shows the site of the present Municipal Hall, slightly to the west of John Hart's white house. 
The photograph shows two teams of horses dragging roots and stumps to a huge pile of forest debris, 
perhaps thirty feet high, hoisted into a heap, ready for burning, with a gin pole and donkey engine. 


The photograph also shows, in the lower left hand corner, the approximate present site of the present 
Post Office, on the northwest corner of Seventeenth and Marine; an imposing building of red brick. 


Further identification is tliat tine pliotograpli was tal<en from across tine road from Mr. Lawson's old 
general store on the southwest corner of Seventeenth and Marine. It is a most historic photograph. 

"Clearing on the Marine Drive, Hollyburn." 

Mr. Lawson: (after examining the photo) "This is either Marine Drive at Sixteenth or Seventeenth, or it is 
at 22"^* Street. I am not sure which — it is one or the other." 

Explanation of photograph Out. P. 86, N. 198. 

Captioned as above, "Clearing on the Marine Drive, Hollyburn." An examination of the actual ground on 
1 1 September 1 949 shows this to have been taken from a point in front of the "Hollyburn Golf Course," at 
the corner, approximately, of Eighteenth and Marine Drive. This photo shows a road, roughly crowned, 
bended to the left, and continuing straight on; small piles of roots and stumps, ready to burn, on the left; a 
group of men and apparently, two boys in the distant smoke of the clearing fires. On both sides are trees, 
some of those on the left — looking west — being fir or cedar, original growth, while those on the right are 
alder. On the extreme right is a burned-out cedar spike, fairly tall, with a smaller one and two stumps 
close by. A very tall "spike" of a tree is also seen. It is quite clear, then, that this photograph is most 
historic, as it shows the whole of the present busy commercial area of Hollyburn. 

Lawson Creek. Lawson Park. Hollyburn. 

Major Matthews: Where is Lawson Creek, Mr. Lawson? 

Mr. Lawson: "Lawson Creek? Why, that's the 'burn' in 'Hollyburn.' That's the creek from which Hollyburn 
got its name. About two months ago they named a park in my honour down there — 'John Lawson Park.' It 
was a surprise to me. They had a ceremony and I was invited to it, and they told me then. It is at the foot 
of old Lawson Avenue. Here, read this newspaper account" {Sun, Friday, 17 June 1949, page 21, with 

Lawson Avenue. West Vancouver renames streets. John Thomas. "Navvy Jack." 

"Lawson Avenue used to run north and south, and is now Seventeenth Street, but when they renamed 
the streets of West Vancouver alphabetically, they put Lawson Avenue in its place alphabetically, and it is 
now away back. Originally, 'Navvy Jack's' old cottage, which we occupied, was on the east of the creek, 
but we moved it to the west side." 

West Vancouver Transportation Company. Reeves of West Vancouver. 

Mr. Lawson: (after reading the biography in the album of portraits of Reeves of West Vancouver) "I don't 
know what is meant that I superintended the selling of the ferry fleet of the West Transportation 
Company. What it should say is that the part I played was that they made me president of the West 
Vancouver Transportation Company. I suggested a schedule, and Robert MacPherson said, 'If you will 
stand the deficit you can put on that schedule.' I replied, 'All right. I will.' And I did." 

Major Matthews: Was it much? 

Mr. Lawson: "A month before we turned it over to the Municipality, who bought it, I had paid out $12,000 
of a deficit, but the last month things improved so that I had $500 over and above operating expenses. 
Then I turned it over as a paying business. We were setting a pace, both in service and fares. There were 
two pairs of brothers-in-law. W.C. Thompson married my sister, and MacPherson — no relative at all — 
married John Sinclair's sister." 

The named Dundarave. 

"People say 'Dun-da-rayue'; it is 'Dun-da-rahv.' Dundarahv was the home of the McNaughtons. They had 
to get to it in a two-oared boat. Dundarahv means 'two-oared boat' in Gaelic." 

"Hollyburn, the beautiful." 

This printed panorama of the waterfront of Hollyburn, torn from some old real estate advertising pamphlet, 
was next shown to Mr. Lawson. 


W.C. Thompson. Lawson Avenue. "Navvy Jack's" house. "Navvy Jack's" Point. John 

Mr. Lawson: "This photograph, that from which this illustration was made, must have been taken about 
1909. This small cottage" (on extreme right) "was Harry Thompson's, son of W.C. Thompson. In the 
centre is Lawson Avenue. The house by the horses is 'Navvy Jack's' old place, afterwards our home. The 
house, partly concealed by trees, was W.C. Thompson's, and the one on the extreme left near 'Navvy 
Jack's' Point was John Sinclair's." 

Miss Gertrude Lawson: (interjecting) "When we rowed over from English Bay, sometimes it was rough, 
and we were glad to run the boat into the mouth of the creek here." (Shown by a break in the foam of 
waves washing on the shore.) 

"Navvy Jack," a gravel. 

An interesting feature of the illustration "Hollyburn, the beautiful" is that it portrays the gravel taken from 
the beach which was loaded onto scows run up on the shore, and floated again at high tide when loaded, 
from which John Thomas, alias "Navvy Jack," took his gravel which has since, until this day, retained his 
name. "Navvy Jack" is a gravel which can be bought by the yard or truck load from any construction 
material firm in Vancouver. Capt. Cates also took gravel from this "pit." 

After showing the ladies numerous photos, papers, etc., and as the hour was growing late, I departed, but 
not until Mr. Lawson, despite his age and my protests, insisted on accompanying me down hill, in the dark 
and in the middle of the street — no sidewalks — to the bus stop at Marine and Seventeenth. Mrs. Lawson 
was in the house during my visit, but was not sufficiently well to appear. I did not see her. 

It was a delightful and profitable evening with a pioneer gentleman of much generosity, graciousness and 
distinction. It is remarkable that he has lived to see his early home in the wilds change into a busy village 
of banks, moving picture houses, florists' shops, and other retail stores of almost every variety, and 
through which passes a stream of motor cars and passenger busses. 

9 September 1949. J.S.M. 

First electric light, Burrard Inlet. 

From The Columbian. 

Of 1 February 1882: 

"The California Brush Electric Light Company have sent an agent to Burrard Inlet for the purpose of 
lighting the two great lumber mills there." 

Of 8 February 1882: 

"Moodyville Mills are lighted with electricity." 

Same issue (Wednesday) under heading "Burrard Inlet Items": 

"The electric light shone from the Moodyville Mills Saturday last for the first time. It is said to work 
admirably. The cost, I am told, would be about $4,000." 

Of 11 February 1882: 

"The Mayor and Council of Victoria will shortly proceed to Burrard Inlet to inspect the electric light." 

Same issue: 

"The telephone system in Victoria is now complete ..." "... It only remains to light the city by means of 
electricity to entitle Victoria to take rank amongst the most advanced communities." 

Of 18 February 1882, under the heading "The Moodyville Light": 


"The Victoria Mayor and Council went up to Moodyville tliis week to see tine electric light erected at the 
mills. There are ten lamps or burners, each being equal to 2,000 candlepower. The whole thing is a 
complete success." 

The sequel to this was that the City of Victoria installed electric light. Shortly afterwards there was a wind 
storm, and, during it, the lights went out. The newspapers reported that, as the wind had blown out the 
(electric) light, they could not see that it was much of an improvement on the (old) coal gas lighting 
system. J.S.M. 

"The lights of Vancouver." 

I started this years ago, but put it aside and never finished it; if a "finish" is ever possible. I shall put down 
a few notes in the hope they will help some compiler, or writer, to find "bits" of useful items for a story. 
J. S.M. 

Sunday, 17 December 1950. 

Street lights of Vancouver, 1905. 

in one of the long boxes, indexed as "OBLONG L..," "OBLONG M..," or OBLONG S.." (corset boxes, we 
call them) there is a map of Vancouver showing where all the street corner electric lights were situated. 
None in Kitsilano; few in Fairview; one or two in Grandview, and lots of corners in the West End without a 
light. I fancy it was photographed. 

The twinkling glow of the fires the night of the Great Fire, 13 June 1886. 

The fire was at midday. That night all Vancouver lay black to the bare earth except where, in the distance 
from the foot of Mount Pleasant hill (Main Street) where the refugees had assembled under His Worship 
the Mayor awaiting food from New Westminster, the blackness of night was pierced with little lights in the 
distance, the small fires on the hill beyond, now downtown Vancouver, burning themselves out; just little 
glow worm lights against the dark background of gloom. 

The only harbour light on Joe Mannion's dock at his hotel on Water Street. 

See photo, "Ridley's Gastown." Joe Mannion's "Granville Hotel" was on the south side of Water Street, 
about midway between Carrall and Abbott Street. In front was the beach and from this a log float ran out. 
At the shore end of the float, about sixty feet from the front door, was a post on the top of which was a 
coal oil lamp. It was the only harbour light on Burrard Inlet (except the lights on the sailing ships tied up to 
the Hastings Sawmill, or Moodyville Sawmill, so dim that they lit nothing save the gangplank, and not that 
very well.) When, in the winter, old Hans, the boatman, came from the Hastings Sawmill with the mail and 
it was foggy and night, he watched as he rowed along the log strewn shore for the light, tied up, and took 
the mail into the Granville Hotel, facing the beach (now Water Street) and threw the bag on the counter. 
Everyone helped themselves to their own mail. 

Dominion Day. 

See Early Vancouver, Matthews, Vol. 1 . 

This refers to the local Indians who, on Dominion Day, used to erect a small mast in the middle of their 
canoes, and tied a rope from the top to the bow and also to the stern, and then tied Chinese lanterns, with 
a lighted candle inside, all up and down the rope. Then, they would tie about 10 or 20 canoes bow to 
stern, all in a line, and when it was dark would get a small steam tug to tow them up and down the 
harbour in front of Water and Cordova Street. It was very pretty to watch. 

Forty years later, at the suggestion of Major Matthews, the Kitsilano Yacht Club, foot of Balsam Street, 
did the same thing but with yachts in place of canoes, and then got a tug to tow them up and down the 
beach at Kitsilano, and then go over to English Bay at Denman Street and repeat it. It was very pretty. 


SuNNYSiDE Hotel. 

The "Sunnyside" was on the northwest corner of Water and Carrall Street — partly over the water on piles. 
McGirr was the proprietor about 1 887, when the first train came in, 23 May 1 887 — the Queen's Birthday 
was on the morrow. So he decorated his hotel with cedar ropes in festoons and hung Chinese lanterns all 
along the underneath part of the balcony. There was no such thing as electric light decoration in 1 887. 

The PILOT BOAT Claymore, and her flare in the night. 

Before the Pilotage at Skunk Cove, now Caulfeilds (not Caulfields), was started, the pilots used to live on 
the sloop Claymore, which lay at anchor in the cove. When word came that a sailing ship was coming up 
the gulf from Victoria to load lumber at Moodyville, or at Hastings Sawmill, if it was night, and dark, the 
Claymore made her presence out in the gulf known to the ship or barque needing the pilot by waving 
backwards and forwards in the blackness of night, a burning flare. It was a handle about 18" long, on the 
end of which was a crisket, or iron basket, filled with asbestos. A suitable can with large base and narrow 
top went with the flare, and was filled with kerosene and turpentine mixed. The handle, with its crisket, 
was stored in the can head first down, crisket at bottom to soak up the oil, handle protruding for grasping, 
and a fixed cover to set on the top of the can was attached to the handle. The original flare is in the City 
Archives. The oil in the crisket was lighted with a fuse (matches blew out in the stiff winds), and when 
burning the flare was waved to and fro to indicate to the sailing ship where the pilot boat lay. 

Going to church on Hastings Street by lantern light. 

The two slopes on Hastings Street, down from Victory Square and down from Main Street, terminated, 
originally, in a swamp, one margin of which was at Abbott Street, and the other at Columbia Street. At 
Carrall Street the hollow was eight feet deep, which, at high tide, permitted the waters of False Creek and 
of Burrard Inlet to intermingle. But at other times it was fairly dry and quite passable for pedestrians. 
Hastings Street, at Carrall Street, has been filled in to a depth of eight feet. 

The Presbyterian Church, the first, was on the slope down from Westminster Avenue (Main Street) on 
Cordova Street. Quite frequently, on a Sunday evening, 1886, churchgoers would pick their way along 
Hastings Street stepping from high mound of earth to the next one so as not to get their feet wet, by the 
aid of a lantern. 

First New Year's banquet, St. Andrew's, civic, etc., Dougall House. 

On New Year's Day, 1 887, the best hotel was the Dougall House, on the southeast corner of Cordova 
and Abbott streets. A great banquet was given on New Year's Eve, the first real banquet ever held in 
Vancouver. All the celebrities were there, from Victoria, Nanaimo and New Westminster; there were many 
fine speeches. It was a cold blustery night. The guests were obligated to carry lanterns, going and 

Looking down on Cordova Street from the heights above. 

After "The Fire," June 1886, Cordova Street became the principal retail business street. There was no 
obstruction to the line of sight from the high land at the corner of Homer and Hastings and that vicinity. It 
was possible, by standing in the right place, to see right down Cordova as far as Carrall. It was an odd 
sight to look down and see the lanterns, carried by the pedestrians on the Cordova Street sidewalks, 
bobbing up and down as the people walked to and fro, or crossed to the other side of the street. 

Electric light in 1887. 

When electric light first was introduced it was generated from a small low power steam plant on the lane 
near the corner of Abbott and Pender streets. Carbon light bulbs were used and not very strong light 
power — 8 or 1 6 candle power. The joke at the time was that one needed a candle to find the electric light. 

Proposal to put electric light in City Hall, Powell Street. 

When advances were made to the City Council to install electric light in our first $1 ,280 City Hall on 
Powell Street, the Company installed one in the upstairs chamber and, when the Council was seated, 
turned it on. One of the aldermen had a candle in his desk. He raised the lid, took out the candle, struck a 
match on the seat of his "pants," and then, holding the burning candle up to and beside the electric bulb, 
exclaimed to his colleagues, "They call this thing eight candle power. I call it a fraud!" 


Hastings Sawmill fire, refuse burner. 

For many years, fifty or more, the Hastings Sawmill burned its slabs. For years the fire was never out and 
it was a huge thing fed by a chain drive feeder which ran uphill from the mill's saws from which the slabs 
and sawdust dropped onto a conveyor which had cross pieces which dragged the slabs and sawdust up 
to the highest point, directly over the fire, onto which they dropped and burned. It made a huge bonfire, 
the light of which could be seen from the entrance to the First Narrows. Ships, large and small, entered 
the western end of the First Narrows, manoeuvred about until they saw the Hastings Sawmill burner fire, 
and its light served as a beacon to direct them through the dark night. They made straight for the fire and 
thus passed safely through the First Narrows. It was a sort of lighthouse for which they headed. At that 
time, of course, at night Vancouver Harbour was pitch black in darkness — no light burned anywhere. 

Arc lights were the first street lights in Vancouver. 

The first street lights in Vancouver were arc-lights, that is, they consisted of two pieces of extremely hard 
carbon, placed perpendicularly one above the other, but almost touching. The light was caused by the 
current jumping across the gap between the upper and lower carbon "pencil." These "pencils" burned 
away, and it was necessary to replace them almost daily. An employee of the light company, riding in a 
light sulky or buggy, drove around the city each day, and put in new carbons. He drove along, his horse 
stopped, he jumped out, went to the light pole, released a rope and lowered an arm at the end of which 
was the globe. When the globe was within his reach he lifted it up, inserted the new carbon and went 
back to the light pole, hauled on the rope and the iron arm, which extended over to the middle of the 
street, went up into place. Then he went on to the next one. 

The light in St. Paul's Hospital, Burrard Street, 1898. 

Burrard Street, such as it was, ended at St. Paul's Hospital, a small three-storey building. Beyond was a 
trail through the clearing. The "West End" was largely unoccupied in 1898. One summer's night in 1899 I 
wandered out into the West End clearing just as it was getting dusk, and, having gone a good way, sat 
down to watch the sunset, etc., on a log over the brow of the hill beyond Jervis Street. Darkness coming 
on, I suddenly thought it was time to return to my home on Burrard Street near Pacific, but, when I started 
to move, did not know in which direction to go. All was dark. I could not see a single light to guide. So, 
having wandered a little, I suddenly saw in the sky a light which was not a star. It was a light in the third 
storey window of St. Paul's Hospital on Burrard Street. I headed for it and soon was home. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_049 


[photo annotation:] 

Clearing Shaughnessy Heights, steam power gin pole 1910 

H.J. Gamble, C.E. (C.P.R.) on right, H.E.C. Carry, C.E. (?) on left 

Shaughnessy Heights bonfires. 

The first "Shaughnessy" was cleared by the C.P.R. about 1909, the logs and stumps being piled in huge 
heaps by the aid of a donkey engine (steam) and a gin pole. As King Edward VII had died, and King 
George V was about to ascend the throne, the great piles of logs and stumps were kept until the evening 
of his formal crowning at Westminster Abbey; then about 9:00 p.m. they were lighted. As these piles were 
along the ridge about Sixteenth Avenue, between Granville Street South and Oak Street, the fires were 
easily visible to all down town Vancouver, then largely the "West End" insofar as our homes went. We 
expected the fires would look magnificent. I watched from Pacific Street but they were too far away; the 
effect was most disappointing. We had expected huge flames reaching to the sky. Actually, all we saw 
was some dull lights, not very big and not always bright, on the skyline. We had hoped for and expected 
too much. The expected spectacular flames did not appear and we were very sad and sorrowful they did 

All I can think of at one sitting, but much more. 

Sunday afternoon, 15 December 1950. J.S. Matthews 

LiLLOOET, B.C. The meaning of the name "Lillooet." 

This afternoon Mr. A.W. Phair, old friend of Lillooet, called at the City Archives, 28 June 1955. He is down 
for a few days to visit his daughter, Mrs. C.L. Dove, of 7767 Heather Street. 

The name Lillooet. 

Mr. Phair: "There is no doubt the name appeared in the very early records, probably 1858. Tyee Jimmy 
was a very famous Indian chief up at Lillooet and he said to me and to my father (my father, Casper 
Phair, asked him) that when people at the Coast here were going up the river they would point up north 
and say, Tm going lillooet,' meaning, 'away up there.' That is the idea, 'away up there.' 'Where are you 
going?' was the question. 'Lillooet, lillooet,' meaning 'away up' was the answer. 

"Now, it seems that there was a store near Pemberton called Lillooet. That was what Tyee Jimmy said. I 
am 75 now and I think I heard that when I was, probably, twelve years old. At the time Tyee Jimmy would 
be middle-aged. Another thing, which few people know today, is that Lillooet was once called Cayoosh — 
that is not a horse, which is 'cayuse.' 

"There is another thing that people do not know. The Hudson's Bay Company had a fort there called Fort 
Berans, or something like that. That was across the river where East Lillooet is now, where the Japanese 
internment camp was put during the war, about 1 941 ." 

Bridge over Fraser River. Lillooet Bridge. 

"The first bridge over the Fraser was built, I think, about 1886 or 1887. They had a ferry there before, just 
a few yards below it, and old John Miller ran the ferry. It ran on a cable suspended from bank to bank. I 
was only six or seven years old at the time. It was a 'Howe Truss,' so my father told me. Twenty years 
afterwards they blew up the old bridge and put in the suspension bridge right on the same ground. When 
they built the first bridge it was a very cold winter — very cold — and they built the false work on the ice, and 
the ice heaved up and they had quite a time." 

Major Matthews: Mr. Phair, were you the first white baby born in Lillooet? 

Mr. Phair: "Yes and no. I think I was the first white boy born on the site of the town of Lillooet, but there 
may have been a white baby born in the district before I was. I was born 1880." 


Conversation with M.S. Logan, Esq., pioneer, Moodyville, May, 1875, now of 615 
West Pender Street (Crown Building), who kindly called at the City Archives this 
afternoon, 21 september 1949. 

M.S. Logan, 83 years. Birth certificates. 

Mr. Logan: "I'll tell you a secret, I'm 83 years old today." Then he took out his pipe and started to smoke. 
"I was born in our farmhouse, near Morrisburg, Ontario, on the 21 ^' September 1 866. There were no 
maternity homes in those days, and they didn't bother to register my birth. Years ago I had to get a birth 
certificate for life insurance purposes. I wrote to the church. I wrote to the government in Toronto. I wrote 
to four or five places where I thought there may be some record and got no satisfactory reply whatever. 
They had no information at all. Fortunately my father was still alive and they accepted his affidavit." 


"You know, in those days, I was running a store. I had the appointment to issue marriage licenses. I had a 
large dry goods store — did a big business there for ten years and made good money. That would be 
about 1890. Well, anyhow, a man would come in — ^just come into the store and up to the counter — and 
say he wanted a marriage license. I had a big sheet of questions which he had to answer and then he 
would sign it. If I thought he was honest I would make out a license for him and he would go away happy. 
I would charge him two dollars and a half, and I never had to make any return at all to the Government of 
what I had done. An old widower came in one time who was going to marry a young window. He came in 
regularly once a week for two months wanting to know if I would not take less than two dollars and a half. 
I think, before he got through, I gave him the license for nothing to get rid of him." 

Park Road, Stanley Park. Seawall, Stanley Park. First Narrows. 

"About the First Narrows sea wall along the Stanley Park shore, especially near Lumberman's Arch, the 
question might be asked, 'Why was sand not pumped on the beaches to provide bathing 
accommodation?' The answer is that the eddies caused by the waters of the First Narrows and the wash 
of steamships passing, rapidly increasing as the port developed — such beaches of sand would not last for 
a year before they would have to be renewed. I am not sure whether the sea wall had been mentioned 
before my time or not. I was park commissioner, first in 1 91 6, afterwards in 1917, 1918 and 1919. It was 
then a live question as to what was to be done to prevent the erosion caused by the eddies of the tide rip 
in the Narrows and the swash of the fast steamships. The C.P.R. Princess Patricia was the worst offender 
of all. She threw a real wave when she came in under full steam. She was a fast ship — could go about 22 
knots. The erosion was such — caused by the wash and eddies as I have said — that it was washing nearer 
and nearer to the road about the park, and in a year or two would have reached it, and destroyed the 
actual road itself." 

S.S. Princess Patricia. 

"Well, whether or not a sea wall was suggested before my day is immaterial. What we did was something 
to meet a situation which was getting serious. Park Commissioner Owen was on the Board before me; he 
was on one year with me. Afterwards he was alderman and still later. Mayor. I know that during one of his 
visits to Ottawa on civic business, he approached the Dominion Government for some assistance towards 
getting the sea wall, and in this he was assisted by one of the local members of parliament. The outcome 
of it all was that the Dominion Government granted eight thousand dollars each year for years. The Parks 
Board Secretary could tell the exact number of years. We started before we got the actual money 
because of the urgency of the situation. The first part of the sea wall was started somewhere near 
Lumberman's Arch. It was afterwards extended east and west until it now reaches from the lighthouse at 
Brockton Point to the lighthouse at Prospect Point." 


"Now, here is where I come in. The sea wall in the First Narrows gave me an idea, and I pounded it at 
every board meeting until it almost became 'Logan's Hobby.' My idea was to have the sea wall and walk 
extended on the English Bay side of the Park as well as the First Narrows side, and to carry it from the 
English Bay Beach at about Gilford Street, right around the Park as far as Prospect Point, where it would 
enter a tunnel bored underneath the cliff and allow pedestrians to pass under the high bluff, and continue 
their stroll around the sea wall path as far as they wished — all the way to Brockton Point and west again 


to Coal Harbour and the Causeway. That would give a sea wall walk about seven miles long right around 
the park shore beside the sea and under the overhanging green trees, with the added thrill of passing 
through a tunnel under Prospect Point. There would be nothing like it in the world. If any pedestrian got 
tired and did not want to complete seven miles, he could stop, walk up the steps to the Park Driveway 
and take the bus back." 

Major Matthews: Do you know the Board is talking about your idea, and even hope to give effect to it? 
How high and how wide and how long do you think the tunnel should be, Mr. Logan? 

Mr. Logan: "Oh, that is a matter for engineers, but if it were a foot higher than a mining tunnel, which is 
seven feet, and wide enough for two persons to pass two persons, that is eight by eight — that would be 
enough, and I don't think the tunnel would be more than 150 feet long. I have another idea. There are a 
lot of hardrock miners in Vancouver and men interested in mining. If the right men were approached they 
would take a pleasure — it would give them a little excitement — to put that tunnel through as a friendly 
gesture to the public. I would not suggest this." 

Major Matthews: How about calling it after you? The name "Logan" would rhyme very well with sea walk. 

Mr. Logan: "Modesty forbids me to answer your question." 

Approved by Mr. Logan, 8 September 1949. 


Lost Lagoon. 

The naming — when and by whom. 

Short answer: Apparently, in the summer of 1 91 0, or possibly 1911, by Miss Pauline Johnson. 

The Vancouver city directories for 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909 do not show the name of Miss Johnson, 
nor the apartment house where she subsequently lived. In 1909 the apartment house, 1117 Howe Street, 
appears as a new structure, and suite 2, where Miss Johnson subsequently lived, is occupied by Mr. 
Tolson, a grocer. 


1 91 page 398 Apartment House, 1117 Howe street 

(2) Johnson. Miss Pauline. 
842 Johnson. Miss Pauline, lives (2) 1 1 1 7 Howe St. 

1911 page 344 Same as 1910 

800 Same as 1910 

1912 page 433 1117 Howe St., Apartment House. (2) Johnson. Miss Pauline. 

not listed individually. 

1913 page 454 1117 Howe St., Apartment House 
June 962 Not listed — she had died. 

The Province. 

Obituary, March 7 - , 1913. 

Later, trips to England were made in 1906 and 1907 ... about three years ago she took up 
residence in Vancouver, and contributed a series of "Legends of Vancouver to The Province ... 
Not long after she came to Vancouver her health broke down ... for more than two years she was 
an invalid ... ever since Sept. 1911 she was slowly dying. 


Flint AND Feather. 

In which "Lost Lagoon," the poem, appears, states that the first edition was published in 1912. The poem 
mentions "seaweed," "gulls," and "firs"; also canoes. 

It is obvious that, if Miss Johnson was not here in 1 909, but was here in 1910 before June (when the 
directory was published), and was slowly dying before September 1911, then her canoe trips on Coal 
Harbour must have been in the summer of 1910 or 1911. 

Daily News-Advertiser. 

Sunday, 16 March 1913. (Nine days after her demise on 7'*^.) 

"The Spectator," by A. Buckley, M.A. 

The "Lost Lagoon" she called Coal Harbor, and perhaps some day the City will change an ugly 
name for beautiful one "in memory of Pauline Johnson." 

"I have always resented that jarring, unattractive name," she writes, "for years ago, when I first 
plied paddle across the gunwale of a light canoe, and idled about the margin, I named the 
sheltered little cove the 'Lost Lagoon.' This was just to please my own fancy, for, as that perfect 
summer month drifted on, the ever restless tides left the harbor devoid of water at my favorite 
canoeing hour, and my pet idling place was lost for many days — hence my fancy to call it the 
'Lost Lagoon.' I trust some day there will be no other name." 

We have all [continues "The Spectator"] seen Coal Harbor, but who has seen it as Pauline 
Johnson did. And, who could have told us in words like these. 

Note: "For years ago" seems to imply some visit earlier than 1910, for the difference between 1913, when 
she died, and 1910 when she "took up residence in Vancouver" does not appear sufficiently long a period 
to warrant the expression "for years ago." 

11 December 1950. J.S. Matthews. 

City Archives, 
City Hall 

The naming of "Lost Lagoon. 

stock Exchange Building 

December 13 1950. 

Major J.S. Matthews, 
City Archives, 
City Hall, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Dear Major: 

I was delighted to hear from you again and was particularly interested in the 
manifestations of your assiduous endeavor, and the interesting note, which throws definite light 
on the fact that Pauline Johnson had the upper end of Coal Harbour in mind when she wrote her 
beautiful lines to the Lost Lagoon. 

In 1923, when the Gyro Club held its potlatch, she had long since written "Lost Lagoon." 
The name, up to that time, had never been applied by anyone other than her to these waters. The 
Gyro held its Potlatch right on the Causeway. We called it "Tillicum Trail," and I suggested that we 
name the actual body of water and call it "Lost Lagoon," the name being suggested by Pauline 
Johnson's verse, which seemed most applicable. Pauline wrote her verse prior to the building of 


the Causeway, and the lagoon actually becoming "Lost Lagoon," a bottled-up lagoon, a hidden 
lagoon, if you like, once lagoon. The Causeway made a lake of what once had been a lagoon. 

These things which are interesting to us now will be doubly interesting when the hundred 
years roll away. I don't think the undependable public, however, will ever change this name as 
they succeeded in changing "Little Mountain Park." 

Taking this opportunity of wishing you a fine quiet and contemplative, but not too quiet, 
old English Christmas and the best of wishes for the New Year, I remain 

Yours sincerely 


R. Rowe Holland 


Comment by J.S.M.: "The Spectator," a column written by A. Buckley, M.C., published News-Advertiser, 
Vancouver, Sunday, 16 March 1913 (nine days after Miss Johnson's death on the 7**^ March), states that 
Miss Johnson writes that she named it because the tide went out and left her favourite canoeing place a 
dry bank of sea bottom; thus her lagoon was lost to her. 


D.L. 190, Port Moody. Pigeon Cove. 

Letter, 30 December 1949, from J.J. Lye, City Clerk, Port Moody, to Major Matthews, City Archivist: 

"Pigeon Cove is situated on the waterfront near the head of Burrard Inlet, on District Lot 190. It derives its 
name from the number of wild pigeons roosting in the trees, and is a favorite haunt for hunters when the 
season (for shooting) opens." 

The unveiling of the statue to Senator The Honourable Gerald Grattan McGeer, 
K.C. AT THE City Hall, in Strathcona Park, Vancouver, Monday, 18 October 1948, 
AT 3:00 P.M. 

Remarks by Major Matthews, City Archivist. 

Your Worship, Dean Swanson, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

In the chronicle of human endeavour, regardless of time or place, history records no finer 
achievement of a people than the creation of the metropolis and port of Vancouver; a community 
spreading twenty miles wide by ten miles deep, of two hundred churches, one hundred fifty parks, 
one hundred fifty schools, and perhaps fifteen hundred miles of streets, of monumental buildings, 
luxurious offices and busy factories, of beautiful homes and green lawns, which, in the short span 
of less than a single life, rose, like a magic thing, out of a wilderness of forest and swamp; the 
happy home of an enlightened and benevolent people. 

Who were "The Builders." They were young men and women of British and Canadian blood and 
bone — there were no grey hairs in early Vancouver — with energy, courage and vision, with the 
power of justice and the patience of strength; they built, not a fort, but a garden on the shore. No 
sword was drawn; no bugle sounded; there is no blood on our escutcheon; they were men and 
women of peace. Their motto might have been "Not we from kings, but kings from us." 

Among the countless pioneers of Canada, Australia, and elsewhere, to whom we owe the 
greatest structure for political good the world has ever known, the British Commonwealth, was a 
young man and a young woman, James and Emily McGeer, father and mother of an irrepressible 
boy; "Gerry" when he was good; Gerald when he was naughty. Their humble home in the stumps 
of the clearing was in the hollow below this magnificent City Hall. Here, all about us, their son 


played or fished in the long vanished streams. He helped to build the second cabin on top of 
Grouse Mountain. 

As I stand here beside his image in bronze, uncertain as to what is most appropriate to say, I can 
feel that youth's hand upon my shoulder, and his voice whispering in my ear, "Do honour to my 
father and my mother, that our days may be long in the land." 

James McGeer, the father, had cows, and the milk from those cows gave material strength to our 
pioneer babies. He also had a pen. With that he gave them spiritual strength, for with it he wrote 
"An Irishman's Prayer." Please listen for what he prayed: 

We kneel and thank Thee, God, because 
Our King and Emperor sees 
That only by Thine own just laws 
Can man-made empires live. 
'Tis ours to kneel and supplicate, 
'Tis Thine, O God, to give. 

For Thou hast put into our hands 
A power for weal or woe; 
O'er seas, o'er peoples and o'er lands 
Thy victory is our lord the King. 
'Tis his to do Thy will on earth 
While we Thy praises sing. 

O, grant us wisdom, foresight, fear; 
For fear of Thee is power. 
And make us steadfast to adhere 
To simple truth and simple love; 
That we may do Thy will on earth. 
Thou guide us from above. 

Such was the atmosphere of the home from which Senator McGeer, an obscure Mount Pleasant 
lad, rose to be Senator McGeer, Mayor of Vancouver, and to end his days as an illustrious 



Said +o be fhe first mayoral robe in Canada. 
First worn 2(Hh August, 1936, by 


at the welcome of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Sir Percy Vincent, Bart., 
Aldermen and civic dignitaries of London, England, who had been Invited to our 
Golden Jubilee festivities, 1886-1936. 

Prior to April 18th, 1936, Mayors of Vancouver did not wear robe, cocked hat, 
jabot or gloves. In anticipation of the ceremonious formalities of the Lord Mayor's 
visit, the Mayor's Gold Chain was taken out of storage, where it had been since 1912. 
Mayor McGeer donned his King's Counsel gown, and had his photograph taken. The 
dignity of a robe impressed him. He discarded his K.C. gown, and ordered a 
mayoral robe, defraying the cost, $527.33, from his own purse. 

After the death of Mayor McGeer, August 1 Ith, 1947, the Mayoral Robe, 
together with this glass cabinet were presented to the City Archives. In May, 1950, 
the Mayor's widow, Mrs. G. G, McGeer, presented the King's Counsel gown. In 
October, 1947, the second robe was presented by Colonel the Honourable Eric W. 
Hamber, C.M.G., LL.D., and the ceremonial gloves were presented by Colonel the 
Honourable W. C. Woodward, 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_050 


D.L. 315. McCleery Estate. 

On 4 December 1947, Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth Mackie (nee Miss "Greta" McCleery, wife of Robert 
Mackie, 8058 French Street, Marpole, and youngest child of Fitzgerald McCleery, first settler on the site of 
the City of Vancouver), sold 16.39 acres bounded by 55* and 57*^ avenues and Carnarvon and 
Macdonald streets to the City of Vancouver for use as a park site. She received $8,1 95.00. 

Mrs. Mackie uses the City Archives as her City Hall office, and while waiting for her check, went to sleep 
in an arm chair placed across the other side of my desk. She slept well for twenty minutes; we were very 
quiet, and she awoke herself. She was very tired. 

She told me that twenty-one acres remained of the original McCleery farm. "Just enough for a nice barn," 
she laughed. 

McCleery's diary, 1863-1866. 

Vancouver, B.C. 

29'^ March 1948. 

Dear Mr. Hardy: 

"Greta," now 68, alias Mrs. Robert Mackie, youngest child of Fitzgerald McCleery, 
pioneer 1862, is a woman for whom I have an admiration approaching veneration. She must have 
been beautiful in her youth; today she is bent and faded. She has the keen conception of the 
fundamentals of life; a pioneer farmer's daughter, Margaret Elizabeth McCleery, now Mrs. Robert 
Mackie. If there was no other way of getting beefsteak, she'd kill the ox herself. 

Greta brings me a loaf of bread and a pound of her own butter; the bread fresh out of the 
oven. But she does not always do what I tell her. She got an idea some years ago that she 
wanted to exhibit her historical treasures, begged an empty room in the City Hall, got the janitor to 
put up rough tables, and spread all manner of things upon them — one being a tiny diary about the 
size of a small New Testament. She would leave the door open — anyone could go in. I 
remonstrated, but she took no notice of me. I warned her she might lose it in the street car with 
her purse. I warned her that her house might burn. But all she replied was that she knew what 
she was doing, very cheerily, and so confident that no harm would befall the precious diary of one 
of the two brothers, Samuel and Fitzgerald McCleery, first settlers on the site of Vancouver. So I 
asked her if I could have it to read. "Sure, you can" said Greta. I promised I would have it back 
Monday morning. 

Friday night I was up all night. I was at it again on Saturday. I didn't sleep that week-end. 
Monday morning it was back in place — but I had a long hand copy. Next, I had the manuscript 
converted into typescript, then bound into a book with green cover. Her father was from Ireland — 
northern Ireland. I send you, with the compliments of Mrs. Matthews and myself, one copy. Greta 
hasn't found out yet — and that's years ago. As a sort of preface, I had typed a page of 
explanation as to why I took this unpardonable liberty. I never got the original diary. 

You may perhaps care to observe some entries which I selected at random: 

Page 3 "Commenced to dig some ground for plants." 

4 "Commenced work on the trail today." 

13 "Helped to poot up the fence." 

17 "Fixt the window." 

40 "Brought a churn from town." 

40 "Churned some milk today." 

1 02 "Fido caught a deer." 

"Fido" was our first dog. The butter was the first butter from the first cows; churned in the 
first churn; the fence was the first fence; the trail is now "Marine Drive," smooth paved with 


hastening busses and motor cars; the window was the first to let light into a Vancouver home; 
and the plants — vegetables — were our first. 

Today — and one hundred years have not yet passed — one city and four municipalities 
surround that vanished cabin on the Fraser River bank, and the residents number nearly half a 
million busy people. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

F.A. Hardy, Esq., 
Parliamentary Librarian, 
Ottawa, Ont. 

Conversation, 5 April 1949, with Mrs. Robert Mackie, French Street, more 



She has been to the City Hall on business in connection with her property on Marine Drive, and, as is her 
invariable custom, always at the City Archives before going home. 

Fitzgerald McCleery. D.L. 315. 

Miss McCleery: (showing a blueprint map marked .575 acres, D.L. 315. Parcel B, between lots 6 and 9) 
"That is the last of it. I am not even on the voters' list as a property owner now. Sold. Sacrificed. To meet 
and satisfy my city's growing needs; the city needs more, more; the employees want more wages; the last 
subdivision is sold." 

"Let me tell you" (and she chuckled a little laugh.) "Away back in or about 1934 the mortgagees of our 
property foreclosed and our land was taken for taxes, interest and mortgage." 

Major Matthews: Who bought the six acres? 

Austin Taylor. Mrs. Harry Logan. South West Marine Drive. Mrs. B.T. Rogers. 


Miss McCleery: "Austin Taylor did. He did not want my home, so I picked it up and moved it onto my 
sister's" (Mrs. Harry Logan) "bush land. That was before Marine Drive was named." 

"Then, when South West Marine Drive was made they raised a wall eight or ten feet high on my northern 
boundary, cutting off my access to the road. My present outlet is by a lane on the southern boundary of 
Lot 6, known to me as 'Wee Lony Lane.' Austin Taylor cleared the six acres and put it back into a 
subdivision. He never lived there but bought Mrs. B.T. Rogers' place, 'Shannon,' and lives there yet — on 
Granville Street. 

"When the mortgagee said he was coming from Florida to see the land I just put up a prayer to Almighty 
God for help and said I was willing to give up everything. Inside of a week a buyer was sent, Austin 
Taylor. I thought he would want the house but he said, 'No.' He paid cash for the land. It nearly struck the 
mortgagee dead to find he could not take possession. He had a man all hired to take the land over. He 
did not know I had the good Lord for my partner. 

"So, the money Mrs. Logan and I got from Austin Taylor paid up all the taxes and mortgage. As Austin 
Taylor did not want the house I put up another prayer. I took my share in farm land, known as Parcel A, 
and went to the Vancouver Mortgage Corporation and asked them for $4,000 on the sixty-nine acres. I 
went home and then next day went to see them again. I kept my eyes open, and on his desk was a paper 
saying, 'Keep her to $3,000 if possible.' The gentleman was not in. I was told to sit down and wait and, as 
usual, I used my eyes. I read the paper, relaxed, and waited for him to come. When he did come he said 
to me, 'I think we can let you have three thousand.' I replied, 'Gentlemen, I read that note — three 
thousand is no use to me. If I cannot get $4,000 I'll go somewhere else.' I got the $4,000. 


"I moved my home down onto a piece of land my sister, Mrs. Logan, let me have — that is now 2610 South 
West Marine Drive. There was no Marine Drive then; it was high ground bush land. Marine Drive was 
made after that. It cost me $1 ,000 to move the house, put a cement foundation — the rest went for taxes." 

Mrs. S.F. James, nee McCleery. 

Conversation (over the phone) with Mrs. S.F. James, 6561 Macdonald Street, 17 September 1952. 
Major Matthews: Mrs. James, who was your father? 

Mrs. James: 

Major Matthews: 

Mrs. James: 

Major Matthews: 

"John Bailey McCleery. I was born in Killalee" (sic), "Ireland; we came out later. I was 
born Catherine Jane McCleery; youngest daughter John B. McCleery." 

Oh, that explains why you are not in my Early births, Vancouver and Vicinity. I was 
alarmed that I had missed you. Was your birth ever registered in Ireland? Are you 
over 70? 

"Two or three years yet." 

Well, they are paying $40 Old Age Security pension now. I'm taking mine. I pay well 
for it. Tobacco which used to cost me 65 cents a tin is now costing $1 .45, plus 3% 
sales tax. I don't know why they wanted to pension me (over 70), but they did, and I 
am taking it and just putting it in a little Savings Bank account and leaving it there. 

29 September 1952. 

Scene: The City Archives, City Hall, Vancouver. 

Personae: The City Archivist, seated at his desk and a pioneer lady facing him, born on North Arm, 
Fraser River, near Musqueam Indian Reserve, 1880. She married late in life — about 65. 

Pioneer lady: (accusingly) "They tell me you are the man who gets the Queen to cable her 
congratulations when people have been married sixty years." 

Archivist: Oh, I just send their names and the particulars to the Governor General's Secretary — that's 

all I have to do with it. 

Pioneer lady: "Well, I don't see what there is to be congratulated about in being married sixty years. I've 
been married four years and I've had all I want of it." 

The lady used to be Miss "Greta" McCleery, youngest child of Fitzgerald McCleery, one of the two first 
settlers, 1862, on the site of Vancouver. About 1945 — thereabouts — she married Robert Mackie, another 
old-timer. In 1952 both are living. Robert Mackie is a very fine fellow with fixed habits. He likes to turn on 
the radio. "Miss McCleery" — we still call her "Miss McCleery" — likes to get up about dawn, and "Bob" 
doesn't. And she hates the radio. 


Note: both Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mackie died in 1955. 



Conversation with Mrs. Mary Jane McIver, widow John D. McIver, now of 1349 
East 3"" Avenue, in which home she has lived for 54 years, who kindly came to the 
City Archives this afternoon in company with Walter Allan Smith, son of John 
Frederick Smith. 

Walter Smith was born at the Northern Hotel, 30 West Hastings Street, 5 March 1889, and is seeking a 
delayed registration of birth certificate. As she is suffering from chronic arthritis and is 84, we sent a taxi 
for her and sent her back again the same way, 8 December 1954. 

John D. McIver. Mary Jane McIver. John Frederick Smith. Walter Allan Smith. 

Mrs. McIver: "My husband was John D. McIver. He is shown in the famous photograph of the arrival of 
C.P.R. locomotive No. 374, at Vancouver on 23'^'^ May 1887. He is the most prominent and is standing in 
front of the cowcatcher. I came here shortly after 'The Fire,' in August 1887. My maiden name was Black, 
and I was a waitress in the Northern Hotel, 30" (West) "Hastings Street. My husband was uncle to the 
mother of Walter Allan Smith" (who was present beside her as she spoke.) 

"Mrs. Smith, his mother, and I were friends. I must have been 1 8 or more when Walter was born at the 
Northern Hotel, where I lived and they lived. When he was a tiny baby I have often nursed him. What date 
he was born I do not know, but I was born on March 17*^, 1871, and must have been about 18 at the time 
Walter was born, which he says was March 5*^, 1889, at the time I was waitress. 

"I was married in Victoria — not in a church but at a home. I have four sons all living in Vancouver, and 
three daughters, none living in Vancouver. And" (she laughed) "lots of grandchildren and sixteen great- 

Note: at this point. Major Matthews, who had been preparing legal papers, took Mrs. McIver to the Legal 
Department, City Hall, when she made oath before Mr. Elliott as to her knowledge of the birth of W.A. 
Smith. Upon their return, Mrs. McIver said: 

Mrs. McIver: "What time is it?" 

Major Matthews: Four fifteen. 

Mrs. McIver: "I must be going. I must hurry home — I've a meal to prepare for three people." 

A few moments previously she had said that her age was 84. A tiny frail little lady, clear of mind, serious 
in her speech, but one for whom walking was painful, due to arthritis, still devoted to her duty. These are 
the women one venerates; earthly angels before whom, if it were necessary, I should not deem it beneath 
my dignity to get down on my knees, bow my head, and, in token of my respect and my admiration, kiss 
the hem of their skirts. 

J.S. Matthews. 

Visit of Miss Margaret Florence McNeil, our first baby, 23-28 April 1951. 

Born 27 April 1886. Previous visits, 1940, 1946 April, 1946 August, 1949, 1951 (present.) 

On the evening of 23 April 1951, Miss McNeil and her friend, Mrs. Lucille Marincovich, both of Portland, 
Oregon, were guests of the Parks Board at the Pavilion at Ferguson Point. It was a lovely brilliant 
evening. Dinner was at 6:00 p.m. Arnold Webster, chairman, presided. About 20 were present. 

Major Matthews: 

Miss McNeil needs no introduction; nor does Mrs. Marincovich to whom we are indebted for 
bringing Miss McNeil to us for the fourth time. (In August 1 946, Miss McNeil came alone.) But, Mr. 
Chairman, with your permission I should like to address a few words to Miss McNeil herself. 

Lady Margaret. Fate ordained that you should be the first baby born in Vancouver. That placed 
you, as is a queen born to her regal state, in an unavoidable position of public prominence. For 
fifty-five years your whereabouts remained a mystery to us, for, though you made frequent visits 


to Vancouver, your natural modesty forbade you making yourself known. For twenty years I, 
myself, tried to find you before we succeeded; then to accost you, accuse you, and invite you to 
confess. Fame was forced upon you. You did not, yourself, seek it. 

But, when finally the unique burden such as it is, at this moment, borne by no other person on 
earth, was imposed, you accepted its responsibilities willingly, graciously, with good humour and 
distinction. In consequence, whenever you return to the city of your nativity, we derive pleasure. 
You have created a state of happy congeniality, and a tradition of goodwill for those who come 
after to emulate. 

It is our hope that your visits to Vancouver are as enjoyable to you and to Mrs. Marincovich as 
they are to us. 

And so say all of us. 

Marriage certificate. 

This is to acknowledge and to certify that I Keavie do take, for better or for worse. Miss Katey 
Squinum for my lawful Wife, and that I promise to maintain and support her as such; and further 
to have the marriage ceremony duly, and evangically solemnized on the earliest opportunity, 
when a clerical person may be had to perform the same. 

In Witness whereof I set my hand and seal, this 1 ^' day of November in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and forty seven. 


James M Yale 

FortLangley, l"Novr1847 

Presented City Archives 

April 1947 by A.C. Packam, Vancouver. 

Note: the original Marriage Certificate is in the Sir James Douglas file in the City Archives. J.S.M. 

Conversation with James Arthur Martin, pioneer, of 645 West Broadway, who 
kindly called at the city archives this morning, 2 november 1 949. 

The morning following the banquet attended by 41 pioneers of Vancouver (1 November 1 949) given by 
the Board of Park Commissioners to all those who have resided here since 1889 or earlier, and 
commemorating the dedication, by His Excellency Lord Stanley, of Stanley Park, 28 October 1889. Mr. 
Martin was born in 1862 and is 87. 

Coal Harbour bridge. Stanley Park dedication. 

Mr. Martin: "I saw the dedication procession go by. I was fishing on the bridge when it went by. There 
were not so many there — all horses. Four horses in the vice-regal carriage, but mostly two horses to a 
buggy. Every buggy in town was there — oh, say twelve or twenty — one behind the other. I was too 
interested in fishing so stayed and caught a few bullheads." 


"It was a rainy day — very rainy — that morning. I was about 27. They shut down the building of the Homer 
Street Methodist Church, corner Dunsmuir and Homer; shut down for the holiday. That was why I was 
fishing on the bridge. I did not want to go to the dedication, so I went over to Greer's Beach over the old 
C.P.R. trestle bridge." 

Note: this would indicate that on that date the fixed span was still in position. J.S.M. 


Greer's Beach. Canadian Pacific Railway trestle bridge. Leland Hotel. John Insley. 

"I fixed up the top floor of a three-storey building near the corner of Granville and Hastings Street; south 
side Hastings, where the Canadian Bank of Commerce is now — not on the corner, but close. Fixed it for 
John Insley. No basement, six by six" (6" x 6") "cedar posts in the ground. All the big houses in the West 
End were built that way. I did not fix the basement." 

Mayor David Oppenheimer. 

"John Insley came to me and said that he wanted me to fix up the attic. That was what we called the third 
floor. He said that His Worship the Mayor, David Oppenheimer, was going to occupy it. So I put in a 
bathroom. While I was working up there he, the Mayor, and his wife and two children came up to look it 
over several times; little children they were then." 

Christ Church "roothouse." 

"I was married in the basement of Christ Church Cathedral — it was not a cathedral then — fifty-eight years 
ago, April 21^', 1891. My wife came from Truro, Cornwall, England. We had two daughters and one son, 
eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mrs. Martin passed away third February this year, 
1949 — we had been married 58 years. I came here in 1888, from Truro, Cornwall. My dear wife fell down 
stairs on a rainy day — third November 1948 — and died the 3'^'^ February afterwards. She was not very 
big — she weighed 95 pounds. The Rev. H.B. Robson married us. We were the third couple married in the 

As told to me as we sat chatting. 

J.S. Matthews. 

Conversation with William Hamilton Mason, pioneer, Alderman 1889, 1890, now of 
1380 West 45™ Avenue, Vancouver, who very kindly called at the City Archives, 
26 April 1951. 

We apologised to Mr. Mason for omitting to send him an invitation to the banquet given by the Parks 
Board, 9 April 1951, to all those pioneers resident here in 1886 or earlier. 

Alderman W.H. Mason. 

Major Matthews: When did you come here, Mr. Mason? 

Alderman Mason: "In March 1886. I had been living in Olympia, Washington, and came over to Victoria by 
boat, then over here. I forget the boats' names. I was born across the river from Charlottetown, P.E.I., 2"'^ 
April 1862. My parents were George and Sophia Mason. I had five brothers and four sisters. I have 
brothers still living on the old homestead at Charlottetown, and the other lives in Montreal. Two of us 
came to British Columbia — my oldest brother Oliver and myself. His children are now living at 1380 West 
45**^ Avenue. That's where I live with Oliver's daughter. She is Mrs. T.S. Parr. He worked for years with 
the B.C. Electric. I married Miss Marjorie McLeod. Her father was a farmer on Sea Island. We were 
married in the Methodist Church in Rossland in 1897. She died in Vancouver about 25 years ago. We had 
no children. Yes, I'm 89 now." 

City Hall, Powell Street. Chief of Police Stewart. Mayor David Oppenheimer. 

"Chief John Stewart was Chief of Police here in early days, and I was chairman of the Police Committee. I 
was a young man of 26. That was in 1 889. We ordered his books audited, but that night someone broke 
into the City Hall on Powell Street and stole the books. That ended the audit — there were no books to 

Street ends case. Carrall Street. City Wharf. 

"We tried to buy the street end at the foot of Carrall Street, where the old 'City Wharf' stood alongside the 
Sunnyside Hotel, but we didn't get it, and 1 5 or so years afterwards the City lost its street ends case and 
lost the wharf. It was put to a vote of the citizens and they turned it down when they voted. The owners 
were the Canadian Pacific Railway, and all they wanted was one thousand dollars. It is hard to believe, 
now, that the City Council put a proposal to the electors that the City should acquire the Carrall Street end 


for a mere thousand dollars, and that they should turn it down. William Templeton was the main leader of 
those who opposed. David Oppenheimer was mayor at the time. David was a wonderful man. His brother 
was on the Council too — Alderman Isaac Oppenheimer." 

First City Hall desks. 

(Note: there are two of the original desks of the first Council Chamber, 1886, in the City Archives.) 

Alderman Mason: (looking at one of them) "This is one of the old desks we used." 

In the Mayor's office, where the Province photographer was waiting, Alderman Mason had his photograph 
taken with Mayor Hume and Major Matthews. It appeared on the first or second front page of that 
newspaper that evening. 

In 1955 (when he died) Alderman Mason was the earliest living alderman. J.S.M. 


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[photo annotation:] 

See companion photos C.V. Str. P. 202, N. 123 and Dist. P. 16, N. 17. 

This photograph was found, in 1946, among the papers of the late Stephen O. Richards, of Innes, 
Richards & AI<royd, now Richards, AI<royd and Gall, pioneer land financiers, and, Oct. 1946, presented to 
the City Archives by H.B. Luety, Esq., director. 

Vancouver, May 1886. corner, Hastings & Granville Sts a few days before "The Fire," 13 June 1886, 
destroyed the first Vancouver. 

Looking east over cleared portion of "C.P.R. Townsite," and showing a man walking down Granville St., 
and five more men in a group standing in middle of Hastings St, halfway between Granville & Seymour 
Sts, both Hastings & Granville rough graded and crowned. The middle of intersection is the word 
"copyright." The towering "Royal Bank of Canada Building" now stands on site of large tent on left; the 
whole of the lower centre & right is now occupied by the monumental "Canadian Bank of Commerce," s.e. 
corner Hastings & Granville Sts, where bustling hordes hasten to cross, controlled by traffic signals 
blinking red and green. Observe road stakes driven in ground. 

The pioneer photographer, Harry Devine, pointed his camera almost due east, looking almost straight 
down Water St, and, in the centre is a dark streak; it is the well trodden trail through the new clearing from 
old "Granville" townsite (Water St) to the tented camp of the strong men who cleared away the debris of 
the fallen forest, and formed the rough outline of thoroughfares which future millions will tread. On the 
extreme left, a tall tree on the cliff at foot of Richards St bisects the distant Hastings Sawmill Store & R.H. 
Alexander's residence. The central tree of three is the historic "Princess Louise Tree" at the foot of Gore 
Ave, and beside it on the shore is "St James' Church." Andy Linton's log float wharf and boathouse, at the 
foot of Carrall St, is directly in front of the church. In the near foreground, a man sits pondering before the 
smallest tent. Beyond a white lump seems to be a huge glacial boulder, and beyond still again, the gable 
end of the "C.P.R. Stables" stands on the present site of Kelly, Douglas & Co's warehouse, and, above it, 
the white side & one window of the Methodist Parsonage. The cleared land explains why the three story 
"Regina Hotel" on s.w. corner. Water & Cambie St, was only building to escape destruction in "The Fire." 
The far distant forest is Glen Drive; the nearer line on right, about Gore Ave. Smoke of clearing fires is 
everywhere. The distant tent is about Richards St.; the stump, silhouetted against the white smoke, about 
Homer & Hastings. The fresh cut lumber of the unpainted buildings of the new settlement in the hollow, 
gives them a bright appearance. City Archives, J.S. Matthews, Oct. 19. 1946. 

H.B. Leuty, not Luety. 

Clearing the "C.P.R. Townsite" (Vancouver). 

Major Matthews, [Approx. 1948] 

City Hall, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Dear Major: 

Recently, my good wife handed me an article published in one of our daily local papers; 
the article appeared to be uncertain about certain matters. 

The writer came here in 1 885 before Vancouver was so named. I remained here about 
12 years pioneering the place, then I went to the Yukon where I remained until 1938, and then 
returned here for the balance of my days. 

I visited your office shortly after Mayor Miller's election as Mayor of Vancouver, at which 
time you were anxious to obtain reliable news about early life in Vancouver. I distinctly remember 
supplying you with such news and facts, all of which you typed and filed away as records for 


C.P.R. Boarding House. Yale Hotel. 

Some of the things mentioned in said article about which there appeared to be some 
confusion was about the old C.P.R. Hotel, and the Yale Hotel. The said C.P.R. Hotel was built, 
owned and operated by Duncan McPherson, and was situated on Hastings street. The Yale Hotel 
on Granville street (on the south east corner of Drake street) was originally built for the 
accommodation of my workmen, about 165 men at that time, clearing the townsite, grading 
streets, cutting locomotive wood; for unloading and loading incoming and outgoing C.P.R. 
Oriental steamers, and many other works and things under me. 

We piled the wood along the railway track on False Creek — 3600 cords of locomotive 
wood — all of which was later burned to ashes some time after the big fire of 1886. 

L.A. Hamilton was C.P.R. Land Commissioner. He also surveyed the townsite. J.D. 
Charleson was superintendent of works. 

Patterson, Stevens and McCraney had contract to slash the townsite, 1885-6. 

Yours truly, 
D.A. Matheson 
2922, West 38* Ave., 

NOTE BY City Archivist. 

The invaluable historical letters and conversations of Mr. D.A. Matheson are recorded in: 

Early Vancouver, Vol. 4, 8 September 1939; 
Early Vancouver, Vol. 5, 7 and 12 June 1940; 
Early Vancouver, Vol. 6, 24 July 1941 ; 
Early Vancouver, Vol. 7, approximately 1948. 

The "Yale Hotel," originally the C.P.R. Boarding House, still stands, 1 300 Granville Street, in 1 955. 

Conversation with Dr. Robert Mathison, D.D.S., of Kelowna, B.C., pioneer, 
Vancouver, March 1886, at Hotel Vancouver, 16 November 1947. 

Now the sole surviving member of the first Vancouver Board of Trade organised 1 887; also the first "job" 
printer in Vancouver, and who, arriving in Granville two weeks before incorporation as "Vancouver," 
worked as a printer on the first Vancouver newspaper, the Vancouver Weekly Herald. 

Dr. Mathison, now very elderly, is also very active for his years, has a very clear memory. He is staying at 
the Hotel Vancouver as the guest of the Vancouver Board of Trade for the purpose of attending the 
Diamond Jubilee luncheon given in celebration at the Hotel Vancouver, Monday, 17 November 1947, at 
12:15 p.m. 

"Jim" Wright, 1886. James M. Wright. First printer. Vancouver Weekly Herald. 

Dr. Mathison to Major and Mrs. Matthews, after dinner: "Don't have that photograph published. If you do, 
have it done separately. That photo of Jim Wright and myself taken at Princeton in 1 905 was taken when 
he felt he was not properly dressed. He looks a little untidy as compared to me. I used to go over there as 
an itinerant dentist from 1 905 to 1 907 — there were no dentists in the country at that time — so I used to go 
over now and again. 'Jim' Wright was working on the Princeton Star. All that about him owning it is all 
wrong. He wasn't even a partner — he was the printer. He was clever. He could set up items without even 
writing them first — set them up out of his head as he went along. I believe they have quite a plant at the 
Princeton Star now." 


Princeton Star. Dr. Robert Mathison. Herald. Wm. Brown, editor. First newspaper. 
Post Office, 1886. Tilley's Stationery. 

"I came to Vancouver before it was Vancouver, two weeks before it was incorporated. Tine Vancouver 
Weekly Herald was publislied by William Brown, afterwards alderman and school trustee. The Herald was 
on Carrall Street, east side, between Oppenheimer (now Cordova east) and Powell Street. It was a frame 
building. The same building accommodated Tilley's Stationery and the Post Office. Tilley's had the north 
half the store frontage and the Herald had the south half. The inside of the Herald was not separated into 
office and printing room. It was all one once you were inside the door — no separation; office and printing 
were all in the same room." 

First reporter. First newsboy. Johnny Fraser. Horse-drawn stages. George Raymond. 

"The staff consisted of: William Brown, editor; M. Picken, reporter; James M. ('Jim') Wright, foreman 
printer; Robert Mathison, myself, job printer; Johnny Fraser, newsboy. 

"I came to Granville from eastern Canada, via Portland, Victoria, and then over to New Westminster by 
boat, and from there to Granville by stage driven by George Raymond, afterwards of Nanaimo. He died 
and his ashes were distributed on the waters between here and Australia. As soon as I arrived I went to 
live at the Sunnyside Hotel, over the inlet on north side of Water Street, foot of Carrall. The next day I 
called at the Herald, saw Mr. Brown, and he took me on and I went to work the next morning at $18.00 
per week." 

Typographical Union. Vancouver Typographical Union. 

"There was no Typographical Union here then. I worked for the Herald until July 1886, and then started 
my own business as 'job' printer, the first in Vancouver, on Hastings Street, north side, between Homer 
and Richards Street." 

James M. Wright. Frank Oliver. The Bulletin. Edmonton, Alberta. 

"'Jim' Wright came from Ottawa. He had evidently been working on some Winnipeg newspaper" {Free 
Press), "and Frank Oliver of Edmonton, Alberta, had engaged him to go to Edmonton with him. 'Jim' told 
me they had Red River carts, ox-drawn, to take the plant to Edmonton. I don't know how long he stayed 
there, but my idea is that he came direct to Vancouver in 1886 from Edmonton." 

The Telegram. Evans and Hastings. Wrigley Printing Co. Vancouver Typographical 
Union. News-Advertiser. First strike. 

"Mr. Wright was still working on the Herald when I left them. He was afterwards foreman of the News- 
Advertiser under Carter-Cotton. Then some years later he went to Princeton, as I told you, worked on the 
Princeton Star, died and is buried there. 

"I had my own business from 1886 to 1890. Then I sold out to Evans and Hastings and they were taken 
over by the present Wrigley Printing Co., in the 1 1 00 block on Seymour Street. 

"There was no Typographical Union in 1886. I did not belong to a union when I joined the Herald in March 
1886 because there was no union. Then in July I started my own business, and was a master printer, and 
not eligible to join, and so remained until 1 890, when I sold out to Evans and Hastings and went to work 
on the Telegram. Then I joined the Typographical Union, and am a member still. As I told you I got $18.00 
a week in March 1886. After I left the Herald they formed a union and there was a strike, and after that 
the printers got $21 .00 a week." 

JamesM. Wright, Jr. 

"Mr. Wright had a little boy. We used to call him 'Cetawayo' — that was after that South African black chief 
of the Matabeles or Mashonas who were causing the rebellion in South African about that time. I hear he 
is now in the Government Printing Department, Victoria." (Resides 408 Dallas Road, Victoria.) 

As told to me, J.S. Matthews. 


Handwritten on back of envelope postmarked "Kelowna, Sep. 10, 1947." 

From Dr. Robert Mathison, sole living charter member of Vancouver Board of Trade, here as a 
guest of the B. of T. on their 60* anniversary. 

Mrs. Matthews and I took him across the First Narrows Bridge for a drive this afternoon, and 
afterwards dined together at the Hotel Vancouver. Captain William Watts, pioneer, joined us at 

Sept. 14, 1947 J.S. Matthews. 

Board of Trade luncheon — 17 November 1947. Diamond Jubilee. 

Thomas Braidwood, M.B.E. 

At the Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon attended by perhaps 1 ,500 or 2,000 members, held in the 
Hotel Vancouver on Monday, 1 7 November 1 947, in honour of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of 
the Board of Trade, Vancouver, Thomas Braidwood, Esq., President, was in the chair. On his right at the 
head table sat His Worship, Charles Jones, Mayor of Vancouver, and on his left sat Dr. Mathison. Dr. 
Mathison was introduced, and spoke briefly. 



Bij StjdTien iTloYch. rgTTitiofouqk 

Emily Matthews . 

PioneeT nuTse in peace . 

Nutsing sister m wat. 
Co-fouTid-er^ City ArcKives . 
VaTLCOuveT . Obit tq^tS. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_052 


[photo annotation:] 

in bronze, 1952. By Sydney March, Farnborough. 

Emily Mattliews. 

Pioneer nurse in peace. 

Nursing sister in war. 

Co-founder, City Arcliives. 

Vancouver. Obit. 1948. 


(Emily Eliza Matthews.) 

I shall fly over to Vancouver on Sunday, 25* [June 1950] and be with you at the evening service. 
Dear Matty will be there too; smiling at us. I am sure she will be very close. She loved Christ 
Church and loved her nursing. The window embraces both her ideals of faith and of healing 
others, with never a mention of self. My love for her and my ever gratefulness for all her kindness 
and loving care she gave me and mine. A very great woman. 


Ruth Wynn Woodward 

The writer, Mrs. Woodward, is the wife of Colonel the Honourable W.C. Woodward, former Lieutenant- 
Governor of British Columbia, and President of the department emporium known as "Woodwards 
Limited." She writes, 15 June 1950, from Woodwynn Farm, Saanichton, near Victoria, B.C., to Major 
Matthews, to whose wife she refers. The evening service of which she speaks was held at Christ Church 
Cathedral, Sunday evening, 25 June 1950, which was attended by the assembled nurses from all over 
Canada here for the convention of the Canadian Nurses Association, and at which service Mrs. 
Woodward unveiled a memorial window bearing the inscription "IN GRATITUDE TO ALMIGHTY GOD," 
VANCOUVER IN PEACE AND WAR." It was a most remarkably appropriate service; beautiful; almost 
sublime. And two nurses read the lessons — the first time in my life I have ever seen a woman read the 

Actually, the window was designed by Major Matthews himself. He bore the cost of installation and is his 
tribute to his late wife; but, save, for the family arms in the lower corner, there is nothing to indicate that 
such is the case. Mrs. Matthews was a very modest woman and would have shrunk from the slightest 
mention of her name. 



This window has been given by a 
distinguished soldier and citizen of Van- 
couver in loving cribute to the Nursing 
Profession — and especially One beloved 
member of it — who served the sick and 
needy of this city ever since 1873- It 
commemorates "the heroine of Moody- 
ville, Mrs. Emily Susan Patterson, the 
Salvation Army nurses who ventured 
into the Klondyke gold rush. The Vic- 
torian Order of Nurses who accompan- 
ied the Yukon Field Force in 1898, 
Sister Frances of St. Luke's Home, and 
all graduates of the Vancouver General 
Hospital Nursing School started by Miss 
Glendenning in 1901- 

Also are commemorated by the don- 
or, the Nursing Sisters of the No. 5 
Canadian General Hospital, famous for 
their service and courage in the First 
World War, as well as all who served 
so faithfully and well during the second 

The crest of the Royal Canadian 
Army Medical Corps heads the window, 
and the crest of the General Hospital 
adorns the base panel, together with the 
crest of the donor's family. 

While the text 'The Lord will bless 
thee in all they works appears in the 
window, the subject expressed by the 
figures is "Be thou faithful unto death 
and I will give thee a crown of life ' 
both noble words of aspiration and of 

The unveiling party consists of Mr!>. 
W. C. Woodward a great friend of the 
General Hospital, Miss Grace Fairley 
ex -Super in ten dent of the General Hos- 
pital Nursing Staff and School, and Lt. 
Col. R, D. MacLaren, Officer Command- 
ing No. 12 Field Ambulance R.C.A.M.C, 
<R.F.). PS Tunt> icftia 

The lessons at the service are being 
read by Miss Martin of St. Paul's Hos- 
pital, and Miss Elinor Palliser, Super- 
intendent of [he General Hospital Nur- 
sing Staff and School. 

The window was made by Abbot's of 
Lancaster, England. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_053 


Province, 10 November 1949. 

"Mourn Not." 

When I arose each morning 

The day seemed long and drear, 

My sleepless night were filled 

With grief and fear. 

And then — I felt your presence, 

Heard your voice. 

And this is what you said: 

Mourn not for me, because, you see, 

I am always with you dear. 

Though in soil my body rests. 

My spirit lives, I am not dead. 

So cast away your grief and fear 

Ever remembering that He said, 


As you continue on through life. 

At times, the toil and strife 

May seem hard. 

Hold your head high. 

Keep your faith strong. 

Keep that smile that I love 

As you go along. 

And, when your journey on earth is through 

I shall be waiting for you. 

So, no more grieving. 

No more tears. 

God is with you always. 

And I am near you dear. 

Clara Fogg Lobban, Vancouver. 

Remarks by Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. to the ladies of the Altrusa International 
Convention, approximately 150 members of the Altrusa Clubs of Idaho, Oregon 
AND Washington, U.S.A., and British Columbia, Canada, at 9:1 5 a.m., Saturday, 15 
May 1948, Hotel Vancouver. 

Madame President and Ladies: 

The greeting which comes to you this morning from the multitude — half a million citizens of 
Vancouver — is to congratulate you upon holding the first Altrusa International assemblage in 
Canada; is to welcome those from afar to our City and Dominion; to compliment you upon your 
laudable endeavours, and to predict that what you have inaugurated this morning will be 
maintained and grow stronger and stronger in the years to be. I have been allotted a few 
moments in your programme; must hurry, and presume to present an epitome of altruism and 
Vancouver as it appears to me. 

May we imagine it is the year 1492 — four hundred and fifty years ago — and you and I are 
standing upon the surface of the moon looking at a great ball, called the "Earth," much larger than 
the moon appears to us, floating in the heavens above. Through our telescope we see the 
pyramids of Egypt; the caravans of camels, crossing the desert sands of Arabia. We see hoary 
old Europe with its ivy-mantled castles. Then, far to the west, the hordes of Asia are lining those 
age-old shores. In between sandwiched between two oceans which we now call the Atlantic and 
the Pacific, lies a great, and as yet nameless continent, covered with a green carpet of forest, 
stretching from pole to pole, silent, still and empty, and we wonder why, through the countless 


centuries since tine dawn of time, tine Almiglity has reserved Nortli and Soutli America to be the 
new home of the European people. 

A young man named Columbus suggested to the merchants of Spain that by going the other way 
he could reach the same place. The merchants grasped the idea; it was splendid. If he could they 
would not have to pay the heavy tolls levied by the potentates of Arabia and Egypt for the 
passage of goods through their lands; the freight cost would be less. So they gave Columbus 
three ships and he sailed away, found land, returned and told the Spanish king, who sent more 
ships which sailed north and sailed south, but never reached India; ever there was that barrier of 
land. Then Bilboa crossed at a narrow place we call Panama, and saw there was an ocean on the 
other side. How to get into it was a problem. Magellan found a crack in the wall, sailed through, 
discovered an immense ocean we call the Pacific, but the Magellan straits were too far to the 
south. Gallant navigators by the score tried to reach China by sailing around the north and lost 
their lives in the ice. 

For nearly three hundred years the Pacific Ocean lay, as it had always lain, unknown until the 
British sent Captain Cook to the top part, where we live, to find out what was there. He returned 
to say it was mountains, not sea. So the British sent Captain Vancouver to find a channel through 
those mountains, and to sail from the Pacific to Hudson's Bay, the Atlantic, and a short way home 
to the British Isles. Captain Vancouver was trying to find a waterway to your Chicago and our 
Toronto when, in 1792, he was the first European to peer into our beautiful harbour — a forgotten 
haven in an old and densely populated world. 

May I read from his letter: 

"Nootka, Oct. 2"^^ 1794. We arrived here this day month, all in high health and spirits, 
having truly determined the non-existence of any water communication between this and 
the opposite side of America beyond all doubt and disputation." 

So, instead of the "Western Sea" as old charts showed, it was land to form our states of Idaho, 
Oregon and Washington, our Province of British Columbia, and we had to link the Atlantic to the 
Pacific by building the Northern Pacific Railway to Tacoma, the Great Northern to Seattle, and the 
Canadian Pacific to Vancouver. Five million people lived on America's eastern shore, not one of 
whom knew whether it was land or water in the west. 

Captain Vancouver died one hundred and fifty years ago next Tuesday, 18* May 1798. 

In that very same year, 1 798, a baby was born to grow to a man whose philosophy was destined 
to have a wide influence for good upon the millions of future America. As one door closed another 
opened. Andrew Comte, the French philosopher, was the originator of a thought and the inventor 
of the word "altruism." He motto was "Vivre pour autres," or "Lives for others." Here in this room, 
and all about us, we see the fruits of altruistic endeavours. Without Columbus, Magellan, Cook, 
Vancouver, you would not have had your happy homes, nor we ours. There may not have been a 
Canada; a City of Vancouver; a Vancouver Island; nor Altrusa International without Comte. 

Each year upon her birthday, 27* April, we send to the Mayor of Vancouver, State of Washington, 
or sometimes Portland, Oregon, a large birthday cake all decorated and adorned with icing and 
pink rosettes, and inscribed, "GREETINGS TO MARGARET McNEIL FROM THE CITY OF HER 
BIRTH," and we request him to present the cake with ceremony to the first little cherub born in the 
city of Vancouver, Canada. Last year 10,091 little babies were born here. Miss McNeil, doyen of 
them all, is 62. In the short span of her single life, a great metropolis and port, Vancouver, ten 
miles wide by seven deep, with 150 churches, 100 parks, 70 public schools, and 900 miles of 
streets, has risen like a magic thing out of a wilderness of forest and swamp — the mighty 
monument to the achievements of men and women of peace. There is no blood upon the 
escutcheons of our Pacific Coast cities. Your pioneers built not forts, but gardens on the shore. 

At one school here in Vancouver the children of thirty nationalities play happily together, and the 
school secretary is a negro. There are three monuments only to our citizens — one honours a 
darkle, another a Jew, the third is to an Indian. 


How recent it all is. There lives within a mile of you an old man, John Scales, who saw the spot 
where you are sitting as dark damp glade in the giant forest towering to the skies, and but three 
small cabins on all our harbour shores. Last Monday, in my office, we entertained at tea the sole 
surviving pupil of the first class in the first school. Today there are over 50,000 school pupils and 
9,000 students at the University. 

We must accept the Almighty or deny him. There are no half measures about that — it is all or 
nothing. Did all this just happen — like the wind. Was there no great plan, no master architect. 
Wave not a flag in the street, nor utter boastful shout, but in a quiet closet and on bended knee, 
remember Him through Whom all things first were made. Who knows when a sparrow falls, and 
give thanks for our good fortune to Him who has directed it. 

Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth of Canada, said: 

"Women of all lands yearn for the day when it will be possible to set about building a new 
and better world." 

That was in wartime, and now that peace has come, that is precisely what the Altrusa Clubs are 
doing — building a new and better world. May our Heavenly Father shower his blessing upon all 
whose motto is "Vivre pour autres" — "Live for others." 

Western Gate Lodge, No. 48, A.F. & A.M. Worshipful Master Verner Franklin 

Notice. A regular communication will be held in the Chapter Room, Freemasons Hall, Tuesday, 
November 15*, 1949, at 8:00 p.m. 

Business. To receive bequest of Brother J.S. Matthews, presenting his personal service sword as 
a gift for the use of the lodge. 

Arthur Graves, P. M. Secretary. 

Brother Matthews: Worshipful Master. May I approach the east for the purpose of preferring a 

Worshipful Brother Ableson: Please do. 

Brother Matthews: Worshipful Master and Brethren. Many years ago, 55 precisely, the defence of 
the western shore of Canada, especially the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the 
new city and port called "Vancouver," was occupying the attention of the Canadian Government. 
A company of one hundred volunteer soldiers and about eight volunteer officers was formed from 
the citizens. They trained on two muzzle-loading cannon now standing in front of the Drill Hall on 
Beatty Street; were armed with rifles using lead ball, and fired with black powder and a cloud of 
white smoke. The few officers carried swords; this is one of them. The letters "V.R.I." are upon 
it — the initials of Victoria, the Good, Queen and Empress. 

Time passed, and then, one day, my commanding officer called me aside and handed me a 
parchment which, indirectly, came from the King and upon which, in engraved words, I read: 

"To our trusty and well beloved James Skitt Matthews. Greeting. We, reposing especial 
trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage, and good conduct, do constitute you to be 
an officer in the Militia of the Dominion of Canada." 

All officers carried swords as symbols of their authority. I required a sword; an elderly officer of 
the early volunteer soldiers gave me his. There may be Vancouver swords which are as old; there 
are none older. It has been in the service of five sovereigns — one queen and four kings. 

More time passed, and with 1914 came war. With my Brother Taylor, here in tranquil peace 
beside me, I went to noisy war in France. The sword was left behind. Together we were present 
at the defence of Ypres, 1916, and at that awful bloodbath, the Battle of the Somme, which 
continued night and day without cessation for six months, and left one million and a quarter 



human beings lying l<illed or wounded on an area of ground no larger tlian the city of Vancouver. 
Both of us were wounded, and it is due to his gallantry that I am here tonight. The names of the 
actions at which we were present have been engraved upon the hilt. 

But swords are no longer carried, and perhaps never will be again. At the divine service parade at 
the Cenotaph last Remembrance Day not one officer of many carried a sword. The day of the 
cavalry charge is gone. Men fight from Jeeps, tanks, aeroplanes, and in narrow passages 
underground, or with rifles which kill at a mile. Swords would be an encumbrance to be entangled 
in the machinery. 

For an officer to surrender his sword can be a dire disgrace. But the years have taken my 
strength. His Majesty no longer needs my services. I was retired — retaining rank. This evening I 
desire to surrender mine — not to a foe, but with fond recollections, to friends, brothers of the 
Masonic Order for which, save alone the Christian Church, I hold nothing in higher esteem. 

Worshipful Master. With its point turned towards me and away from you, I surrender an old 
treasure, my sword. Will you do me the honour to accept it? 

Brother the Tiler is admitted to lodgeroom. 

Brother Matthews: Brother Tiler. If you would be so good as to refer to your bible. New 
Testament, Matthew, Chapter 10, verse 34 — I am indebted to Worshipful Brother Graves for 
assisting me to find the chapter and verse — Matthew, 10:34, you can read that when Christ was 
addressing his disciples He said this: 

"Think not that I come to send peace on earth; I come not to send peace, but a sword." 

It would be impertinence on my part to attempt to elucidate what Christ referred to. You know, 
and all freemasons know, briefly, to crush the evil; crown the right. 

By permission of our Master, I entrust to your tender keeping this sword; the symbol used by 
Christ, whose example we emulate. 

Pioneers of Vancouver, 1886. 

in compliment to the Pioneers of Vancouver and vicinity who were resident here in 1 886 or earlier, a 
banquet was tendered by the Board of Park Commissioners, and held in the Stanley Park Pavilion on 
Monday, 9 April 1 951 , at 6:00 p.m. 

Vancouver was incorporated on 6 April 1 886, and the banquet was held on the nearest convenient date 
to the sixty-fifth anniversary. 

Commissioner Arnold presided. 

The City Archivist (Major Matthews). 

Mr. Chairman, Your Worship, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

A sense of deep humility, amounting to almost reverence, is the emotion which overwhelms me 
as I stand before this assemblage of Pioneers of Vancouver. Here, before and about us, is a 
remarkable scene, unique in that it cannot be duplicated in the wide, wide world. In the years to 
be this evening will be a tradition to those of Vancouver who follow us. 

These few ladies and gentlemen gathered here have lived in Vancouver since the hour of its 
birth. They are among the last of the Founders of Vancouver, a great city and a great port. They 
were the genesis of a community now spreading thirty miles wide by twenty deep. They are the 
symbol of great men, great events and great achievements. They are some of the original 
builders of Canada of which our city is part. 

As young adventurers, with rosy cheeks and full of vigour, they came to the wilderness on 
Vancouver Harbour where, at high tide, the waters lapped the lower branches of the forest which 


lines its sliores. Tliey came witli vision, energy and courage, witli tine power of justice and tine 
patience of strengtii; witli faitli in tlieir God, tlieir country, tlieir fellows and in themselves. A rare 
opportunity lay open and they seized it for themselves and for us. They were men and women of 
peace, and they laboured to create. There is not a single spot of blood upon our escutcheon. 
They were among the principals in one of the great incidents in the chronicle of mankind, one 
which, forever, must interest the peoples of all nations. They saw Vancouver before it had any 
civic administration at all. They saw the first train arrive — the train which made Canada whole. 

Canada is not so many square miles of earth. Since the dawn of time Canada has always been 
three thousand miles from sea to sea, but it was empty, silent and still. They made it live; at least, 
this part of it. Canada is the blood and bone of its people. Canada is men and women. Here, 
seated about it, is the living genesis of our great metropolis, and the vast empire which lies about 
us. Their greying hairs are dear as a reminder of the effort which they made; each wrinkle of their 
cheeks is beautiful to our eyes for it is the mark of a tribulation overcome. Nobility is not a 
clanking sword nor brilliant coronet. Nobility is laudable conduct, however lowly, and some of their 
tasks were necessarily humble. The majority have departed. If you would see their monument, go 
forth and look around. These precious few remain. If, as has been said, the secret of happiness in 
old age is the contemplation of one's own work and to see that it is good, then, in all faith, Mr. 
Chairman, you must be presiding over one of the happiest groups of persons in all Canada. 

May I be privileged to remind the pioneers themselves that it is due to the gracious 
thoughtfulness of the Board of Park Commissioners that this pleasurable compliment to you is 
being paid by the people of Vancouver. It is characteristic of the Commissioners, for as 
representatives of all Vancouverians, they have ever taken occasion by the hand whenever they 
could find excuse to give visible evidence to you of the esteem and affection in which you, our 
pioneers, are held by the citizenry. In this particular instance, the Board and Mr. Stroyan, the 
Superintendent, astutely recalled that last Friday, April 6*, was the anniversary of our 
incorporation as a city, a mere legal term and form, but which, interpreted, means that sixty-five 
years ago you were all busily engaged in laying our civic corner stone and with precious little 
mortar to do it with. Mr. Campbell, seated here, was actually present at the first meeting of the 
first City Council. 

For generations, perhaps centuries, all those who come after will admire your noble work, and 
hold you in fond recollection. Figuratively, in one loud united accord, they will acclaim, "Bravo; 
bravo; our belov-ed pioneers." 

May God bless you all. 

Remarks of Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. at a banquet given by the Westminster 
Regiment in the Elks Hall, New Westminster, Wednesday, 23 May 1951. 

Colonel Cummins and Gentlemen: 

Time is short, and, if I may be excused, we will dispense with the customary pleasantries. 

1 . The authority upon which I speak: 

I saw your soldiers depart for and return from the South African war, 1899-1902. 

I have worn his Majesty's uniform in Vancouver for 48 years. 

In 1 907 I wrote the history of your regiment to that year. 

Until 1910 I wore the same regimental uniform as your officers did. I was one of them. 

You are a machine gun regiment. I was the first volunteer officer in B.C. to be authorised by 
Ottawa to conduct a machine gun school, and it was in your regiment. 

Your regimental badge, a maple leaf before a setting sun, is derived from my family coat-of- 


2. In August, 1 858, Queen Victoria proclaimed that "the wild and unoccupied territory on tlie 
nortli west coast of Nortii America sliall liencefortii be l<nown as Britisii Columbia." Three 
months later, October 29* 1858, Captain Parson and 20 men landed in B.C. and took 
possession of a "wild and unoccupied territory" as big as the British Isles. They established a 
camp up Columbia Street, near the Penitentiary, and they made New Westminster the capital 
of the colony. They remained three years, and when they departed, October 1863, only one- 
third of the 1 60 men went back to England. Seven days later, the 1 30 who remained formed 
themselves into the "New Westminster Volunteer Rifles," and wore the uniforms and used the 
equipment left behind by the Royal Engineers. The proof is that I hold in my hand some of it, 
and I have seen your Captain Bole, i.e.. Judge Bole, wearing the uniform of the departed 
Royal Engineers. 

From that day to this Her Majesty's or His Majesty's soldiers have served in New 
Westminster without a break of a single day, and son followed father and grandson followed 

Our forefathers had had experience in the loss of the British territory now known as the State 
of Washington. Later we were to lose the San Juan Islands. I ask you, for what reason did the 
British War Office send the Royal Engineers to occupy a "wild and unoccupied territory" 
which three months before was without a name. 

3. In 1858, October, the Queen's soldiers stepped ashore right here where we are sitting. 

In 1863 they formed a volunteer company, the only defence to British Columbia, as the Royal 
Engineers had gone. 

In 1865 they entertained the British Navy at a rifle match on a range up by Queens Park, 
sailors and soldiers both wearing uniforms. About the same year they volunteered for the 
Chilcoten War, and some took part. 

In 1 866 they organised the Seymour Volunteers as a defence against the American Fenians. 

In 1867 the British War office supplied them with muzzle loading cannon. A British warship 
brought the two guns and on the Queen's birthday they fired a salute across the river. 

In 1872 they had rifle matches on the Peele rifle range at Sapperton. 

In 1873 Ottawa authorised two groups of soldiers, the Seymour Battery and the New 
Westminster Rifles, both in New Westminster. 

In 1882 they went to the Wellington coal strike on Vancouver Island to aid civil power. 

In 1883 they became No. 1 Battery, the senior battery in British Columbia's first regiment. 

In 1 886 the riflemen and gunners of New Westminster were the first troops to tread the 
streets of Vancouver. 

In the earlier '90s Captain Scoullar chartered a ship at his own expense and took the soldiers 
of New Westminster to Victoria for a trip. 

In 1894 Senator Taylor, i.e. Col. Taylor, of the British Columbian newspaper, was 
commissioned as a lieutenant, and your regiment sent riflemen to the Dominion rifle matches 
at Ottawa. 

In 1 898 they were the guests, as a regiment in uniform, at Seattle, of the United States 

In 1899 they sent a detachment to the South African war and your men were present at the 
Battle of Paardeberg and the Surrender of Cronje. 

In 1909 they were again guests at Seattle of the American people at the A.Y.P. Exposition. 


In 1910 they became a regiment, the 104* Westminster Fusiliers, with two companies at 

Now the questions I ask to submit to you are: 

Why not carry the battle honour, "South Africa 1899-1902," when all other Canadian 
regiments who contributed men do emblazon it as a regimental honour. 

Why does the "Militia List" or "Defence List," published by the Department of National 
Defence promulgate to all Canada, and even beyond, that "The Westminster Regiment" was 
organised in 1910, and that your seniority amongst Canadian regiments is 71 ^'; that is, that 
70 Canadian regiments have had longer service than you have. Captain (Judge) Bole told me 
fifty years ago that you had the longest service of any regiment in Canada. 

4. If the descendants of early Ontario soldiers are known as the Royal Hamilton Regiment, and 
those of Manitoba as the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, one would think that the descendants of the 
Royal Engineers who took possession of a "wild and unoccupied territory" 300 miles long by 
300 miles wide for the British crown, and who live in the Royal City, would be worthy of being 
known as the Royal Westminster Regiment. 

From whence do the eastern Canadian regiments derive the honourable appellation of 
"Royal"? Why are the services of the soldiers of Upper or Lower Canada acknowledged and 
recognised while those of the Crown Colony of British Columbia are not? 

May I read to you from the roll of seniority: 

1. Governor General's Foot Guards 1872 

2. Canadian Grenadier Guards, Montreal 1859 

3. Queen's Own Rifles, Toronto 1860 

4. Halifax Rifles 1860 

5. Victoria Rifles, Montreal 1862 

6. The Black Watch, Montreal 1862 

7. The Royal Rifles, Quebec 1862 

8. The Volunteers of Canada, Quebec 1862 

9. The Royal Regiment of Canada, Toronto 1862 

Now, please listen. 

56*^ The British Columbia Regiment, Vancouver 1883 

In 1883 all Vancouver was forest. The first soldiers in Vancouver were formed in 1894. 

71^' The Westminster Regiment 1910 

72"^^ The Seaforth Highlanders 1 91 

For nearly twenty years I have been trying to convince Ottawa of your long service — all to no 
effect. Statement after statement has been submitted. They are very polite, but persist in some 
ruling that ignores all services prior to 1 91 0. Your Member of Parliament, Mr. Mott, has tried but 
without success. Of course they are, in one respect, handicapped, as they have no records prior 
to 1871 when British Columbia entered the Canadian Confederation. 

Such are my representations. Colonel Cummins and gentlemen. 



Honor Is Due Him 

MEMBERS of the Kitsilano Rate- 
payers' Association under President F. 
M, Scudamore are moving to have Major 
J. S. Matthews. CD., City Archivist, 
honored with the Freedom of the Citv 
in recognition of his long and eminent 
service to the community. 

Their case could not be better stated 
than it has been by R. Rowe Holland, 
former park commissioner, who puts it 
this way: 

"I have worked with Major Matthews 
for many years as chairman of parks and 
subsequently as trustee of Vancouver 
city Archives. I am familiar with his 
initial enthusiasm to gather together, 
with his late good wife, documents and 
information through many years at a 
great expense to himself. 

"I know he went to work as a voluntary 
public officer and virtually without pay 
to establish the archives. During the 
years since I have been familiar with his 
almost incredible patience and devotion 
in generally building the Archives de- 

partment into one of the most valued de- 
partments of the City Hall. 

"His has been a dedicated Ufc ever 
since he returned from the first great 
war with a reputation as a courageous 
and skillful fighting man and soldier. 
Only when his name becomes history, 
perhaps will the Vancouver public 
awaken to an appreciation of the invalu- 
able results to them of his life's work. 

"He has contributed not only his 
inspired and indefatigable time and ef- 
fort to the creation of the Archives, but 
has literally sacrificed everv material 
thing he had in the world to the 
achievement of his great objective. 

'"If anyone deserves to be granted a 
singular honor being made a Freeman of 
the City of Vancouver, it is Major Mat- 
thews. This is something we can do for 
him while he is alive to appreciate it." 

With all that, everyone will heartily 
agree. We know that everyone will 
support the move for the suitable honor- 
ing of this devoted public servant. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_054 




'Mr. History' Given 
Key to Vancouver 

City Archivist Major Matthews 
Fifteenth Person So Honored 

"Mr. History", has won another "pot for himwlf in 
the history of Vancouver. 

City Council on Monday ordered that the key to the 
city b*? given to Major Jamea Sl?itt Matthewa, V.D*, 75* 
yearnsld city archivist, an honor bestowed on oaly 14 
'other men. 

i * » honored by city 

Ikeidar, Kn. fJ.tSSS 3 

City Honors 
Archivist For 
Lonq Service 

Cily Council hcuiared 70 
74'iirs of HTvicF ^y city srrhl- 
vist Major J, S. Matthews 
Irlonday. UTiAnimousL y voting 
him Ih* "freedom ot the city." 

The honor wba given Major 
Matthews in *'r«coflni'tlon of 
falthfut and loyal service to 
ciiy Kluiieil." He wis appf>in(- 
ed r?Uy archivirt June 12, J9.13. 

Council heard letters of r-n- 
<Jor»cn^ent submitted by the 
KJtaJlano Ralepaytrt Asisoria^ 
tlon from: 

BC Ti>wbo&l Owner! Asso- 
ciation, Park Pksard, SchfKil 
Board, Commuliity Arts Coun- 
cil, Holy Name Socldy nt St. 
AuRuMinc^'fl Church, KitJslann 
Chamber of Commerce, LionH 
Gate hrsnch, Canadian Lesion 
No. 79. 

Kinsmen Club of Vancouver* 
junior Chamber of Commiprce, 
Board of Trade. Bu rrard 
LEons, !)ualni:>9« and Profe-T' 
■jrvial Women's Club. Vancou- 
ver Council of Women, Wo* 
men> Canadian Club, and the 
Women's Univeraity Club of 

The move lo 
Major" B! a freeman of the city 
wfti sparked by the KJ^iltno 
Ratepayers' Association and 
Supported by at least 15 other 

The honor was "In rei^nnition 
o( faithful and loyal service 
rendered by bim to Vancouver 
C.ty And council, eitifeni and 
many others since becoming 
city archivist June 12. 1933/' 

Som in Wales and schooled 
in England, Major Matthewa 
came here in November 1896 
from New Zealand and toon 
after became seriously inter- 
ested in his hobby of collecting 
relics and records of early Van- 

Under his persistent and un- 
tiring - hand— often time? *ith 
direct opposition from city 
counciU — he has biiilt Up a. 
piece-by- piece record ot Van-l 
touver'i his:tory from the day 
in 1792 when Captain George 
Vancouver fint entered Bur- 
rard Inlet 

In 192S his hobby grew to a j 
full-time job at his home» and i 
Jn 1931 the public library pro-[ 
vided an attic room over the I 
old city market at Hastings and; 
, Main. Here the city archives 
I wat born— with its founder (fet- ; 
ting no aalaJTi no expensea and ' 
no official standing' 

In 1933. he received offldaij 
recognition, was given an honor- 1 

fiirium of 125 a months end waij 
permitted to move his archives 
to a small room on the tenth 
floor of the Holden building. 
Thf> srcbiven ar^ now on the 

ninth f^oor of City Hall. 
^ The bestowing of freedom at 
the city is considered a great 
honor* but under the new city' 
charter actu&lly grants no 
special privjjieges. 

Under the fvrmer charter, a 
freeman «utonnQtic»Uy had a 
CJvic vote, was placed at the 
top of the voters^ list, and waS( 
granted qualification to run fori 
any civic office, I 

Croups supporting the free- 
man honor were B.C, Towboat 
Owners' Association, Park 
Board, Community Arts Coun-, 
cil, Holy Name Society of St' 
AugUBtine'a Churchy Kitsilgj» ' 
Chamber of Commerce, Lions 
Gate Branch Canadian Legion, 
Kinsmen Club of Vancouver, 
Junior Chamber of Commerce, 
Board of Ttade. Surrard Lions, 
Business and Professional 
Women's Club. Vancouver 
Council of Women* Women's 
Canadian Club and WoRien^ii 
Univeristy Club. I 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_055 



Nov. 17*, 1953. 

Dear Mr. Scudamore: 

Please may I give to you and your associates of tlie Kitsilano Ratepayers my most ardent 
assurance tliat I am not unmindful of their great kindness to me. It is a great reward to me to learn 
that those whose friendship I have enjoyed for many long years, and who should be acquainted 
with all my shortcomings, are so generous as to overlook them and still retain a measure of 
confidence in me. 

I assure you and them that it is a matter of much comfort and consolation to reflect that, 
perhaps, their tribute means, actually, a recognition that I have tried to do justice to the great trust 
the people of Vancouver reposed in me. 

To me, the most appealing feature is the remarkably good example the Kitsilano 
Ratepayers have set for the people of Canada to emulate. It may be, perhaps has been already, 
noised abroad, near and far, that the Citizens of Vancouver take such pride in their beautiful 
home that they confer high honor upon the keeper of their story. It may induce other great cities 
through the Dominion to ask themselves, if a record office in Vancouver is held in such high 
esteem, why is their own city without one. 

With my grateful thanks and deep respects 

I have the honor to remain. 

Your humble servant 

J.S. Matthews 

City Archivist 

P.M. Scudamore, Esq., 

President, Kitsilano Ratepayers Assn. 




Clerk's Office 






453 W «£T» AVCNUC 

Vancouver to. B. C- 

November 18, 1953 

J.Ia^or J. S, ratthews, 
City Archivist, 
City Hall 

Dear Sir: Freedom of the City; ;;a. - ior J,S. I^at thews 

I wish to notify you of the follov/ing resolution passed by Ccon- 
cll of the City of Vancouver on November l6, 1953! 

"THAT the Vancouver City Council bestow the 'Freedom 
of the City' on JIajor J. S. I'atthews, V.D., in rec- 
ognition of the years of faithful and loyal service 
rendered by him to the Vancouver City Council, the 
Citizens of Vancouver, and tr.any others, since appoin- 
ted to the position of City Archivist on June 12, 
1933) arid further 

THAT the letter submitted by the Jlltsilano Ratepayers' 

Association v;ith attaclied letters from tiiO follovdng 

Organizations, in support of the bestowing of the 
Freedom to I'ajor T'atthev/G, be received: 

B, C. Towboat Ovmers' Association 

Board of Park Com: Is si oners 

Board of School Trustees 

Community Arts Council of Vancouver 

Holy rarr.e Society, St. Augustine's Church 

Kitsilano Chamber of Comr:.erce 

Lions Gate Branch, Canadian Lecion I'o. 79 

The Kinsmen Club of Vancouver 

The Vancouver Junior Chamber of Con^'erce 

Vancouver Board of Trade^ 

Vancouver Burrard Lions Club 

Vancouver Business c: Professional V.'omen's 

Vancouver Council of V/omen 

Y/omen's Canadian Club 

Women's University Club of Vancouver." 



Yours faithfully, 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_056 


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Item # EarlyVan_v7_057 


Response of Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. upon being presented with an illuminated 
scroll conferring upon him the freedom of vancouver at a banquet held in the 
Pavilion, Stanley Park, Vancouver, Monday, 5 April 1954. 

Mr. Chairman, Your Worship, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I am deeply grateful to you, a representative group of the Citizens of the Corporation of 
Vancouver, for the honour you have conferred upon me, and especially to His Worship the Mayor 
for his complimentary remarks. My prayer is that you may never have cause to regret it. 

A telegram has just been received from New York. It reads: 

"Best wishes to the Pioneers of Vancouver. Marian Hirsch." 

Miss Hirsch is the only grandchild of Mayor Oppenheimer [applause], who opened Stanley Park 
in 1888, and whose bronze memorial adorns the Beach Avenue entrance to it. 

Will you please join with me in a consideration of the circumstances under which this cherished 
dignity has been conferred. May I explain it to you as I see it. 

Twenty years of endeavour by many, and not without its trials, has resulted in the Freedom of 
Vancouver being conferred upon a public servant. It began with the City Council of 1933, who 
granted my application to be allowed to assume the title of "City Archivist," and, upon the 
proposal of the late Alderman Twiss, accommodation was provided in a small vacant room, ten 
feet by twelve, in the Temporary City Hall. I took a plain white envelope, wrote "City Archives" 
upon it, and stuck it by its gummed flap to the door. The Council also granted three hundred 
dollars a year. 

Three years later, in 1936, the new City Hall was opened, and, as there was no immediate use for 
the whole of the ninth floor, the "City Archives" took possession. At that time it was accepted that 
we were to be a strictly Vancouver institution and were not to concern ourselves with what 
happened beyond the city boundaries. 

What, then, is the situation today? One whole floor of the City Hall does not provide sufficient 
accommodation. We are no longer a local institution. We have become metropolitan. We know no 
boundaries for we serve West Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, 
and the Municipalities of Burnaby and Richmond. Correspondence comes from the United States, 
Australia and the British Isles. A congratulatory telegram has just come from the Hudson's Bay 
Company, Winnipeg. Our publications are in the schools of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, 
Quebec and Nova Scotia. One of our pamphlets was translated at Rome into the Italian 
language. Successive Councils have gradually increased the annual grant, and the erection of a 
building for the exclusive use of records is being discussed. Our staff is overworked and keeps 
abreast of the demands by working in the evening and on holidays. The Librarian of the 
Parliamentary Library at Ottawa wrote that he knew of no Canadian city which had a more 
complete history of its early days than has Vancouver. Lord Tweedsmuir, greatest historian of his 
day in the British Commonwealth, on viewing your record office, exclaimed, "This is admirable 
work — ^just what I have been urging." 

In 1 933 the opportunity lay open and we seized it. If such a position can be reached after twenty 
years, and under the difficulties of establishing something new and little known, what may we 
expect, now that we have gathered some momentum, during the next 20 or 40 years? 

All this has not been the work of a single individual. Pioneers, alas many no longer with us, have 
helped, and there can be scarcely man or woman in this room who has not, at some time and in 
some way, made their contribution. Those to whom we are indebted for stimulating 
encouragement are so numerous that their names are legion. The later Alderman Twiss moved 
the resolution in the Council that the "City Archives" be instituted. The late John Hosie, Provincial 
Archivist, Victoria, when I was faltering with discouragement, angrily shouted in my ear, "Don't 
quit now, man. Keep on, keep on!" That little lady. Miss Giles, just out of school, worked for 
almost two years at a salary of $12.50 a month and then, after nine years with us, married and 


went off to Edmonton with a gilt gold purse full of crisp bank notes in her hand, and established 
an archives in that city. I doubt very much if His Worship, Mayor Hume, fully realises how 
immeasurable his help has been, so I take this opportunity to declare it. Then there is our present 
Assistant Archivist, Mrs. Gibbs, who always finds expedients for difficulties. And, lastly, the 
gentlemen Commissioners and Staff of the Park Board, to whom we never appeal in vain. 

Sixty or seventy years ago all Vancouver lay hidden beneath a great forest, green, dark, silent 
and still. You were young and vigorous, young adventurers full of vision, energy and courage, 
whom no difficulty could dismay, and ill content to remain on the old farm down east. You 
hastened west, built wooden streets and sidewalks, dug wells for water. All courage is not of the 
battlefield, nor fame of marble halls. Vancouver was not built by the government. Vancouver was 
created by adventurers and it will only hold its place by adventurers. If you would see the 
splendour of the handiwork of which you were the genesis, go into the darkness outside and gaze 
upon the lights of a metropolis and world port; a community twenty miles wide by thirty long, of 
1 50 schools, 300 churches, and 2,000 miles of streets, the happy home of a benevolent and 
enlightened people. Our pioneers marched in front. They were the van in Vancouver, and, as they 
weakened, others took their places. The whole constitutes our tradition. 

And what is tradition? All that we are and all that we ever shall be we owe to those who have 
preceded us. Canada is not merely 3,000 miles of land and water from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 
Canada is men and women, some gone, some here now, and some the millions coming in the 
years to be. There is but one way by which we can repay our indebtedness, and that is by so 
conducting ourselves that our posterity will, in turn, be equally indebted to us. But we shall not do 
that if we destroy our tradition by throwing our records on the rubbish heap. Soon there will be no 
tradition to sustain and to guide us at all. We would return to the dark days when men could 
neither read nor write and all trace lost after three or four generations. 

Upon mature reflection I believe you will agree with me that the dignity of Freeman which has 
been conferred upon me has a much wider implication than the mere bestowal of rank upon a 
single individual. The gentlemen of the Council, urged by the Kitsilano Ratepayers and other 
groups who supported them, desire to give wide public expression to their views. 

First, to declare to all those of Vancouver, of British Columbia, and even across the Dominion, 
that we of Vancouver so highly esteem the achievements of our founders that we have conferred 
high honour upon the keeper of the story of those achievements. 

Secondly, to express by inference, gratefulness to all those who have helped in the preservation 
of our relics and records. 

And, lastly, to inform, by polite implication, all other communities, wherever and whoever they 
may be, that they, too, might find profit and pleasure in emulating the good example of the City of 

These three declarations, to my mind, constitute leadership beneficial to the whole Canadian 

To do all this, and do it with dignity, a symbol was needed, precisely as when a regiment 
distinguishes itself in battle some mark of honour is bestowed upon one of its soldiers, usually the 
commanding officer. In this instance, the chief keeper of the records appeared to be an 
appropriate symbol, and the honour of Freeman fell upon me. Rank has no longer much appeal 
to me, but I think you will agree that the effect of elevating your recorder is an inspiration 
stimulating to others, and especially to those youthful historians who are following. 

What then is our position and our future. We have maintained a record office for twenty-two 
years. It is quartered in the main civic building, the City Hall. It has an assured allotment of funds. 
Its usefulness has been proven by the encouragement received from the clergy, the 
photographer, the journalist, the tourist, the student, business firms, and all manner of 


Much remains to be done, but perhaps it would be best if we who are older should rest awhile 
and be content. We shall not see the summers we have seen — others are now taking our places. 
That we can trust them we know, for they are our own flesh and bone. 

If there is one emotion which should transcend all others this evening, it is thankfulness for the 
good fortune which has been ours, and gratitude to the Great Architect who has directed it. 


The FT&edofn of Va-ncQuver was con^erf ed, bj reiiolLitLioTi of The)T7a;/oy g-nd flldet-m&Ti^utKmTTlQJOTJaTTtes SkJtt 

"htattrhew-^V.TI . rihy fli-chivisll^Qn Novemb eT sevanLeenth, 1953, buLihs pTesettllatio n of tliP. illj-m'^-nni-pfj ^r-foll was 

d efETted. uTiLi l 1-he annual cn-mblimen^aTtj bpTi^ueb^^ivETi. btj the Paris. CoTrnniss'toneta to thefio-neets of VfiTitDUve-f; 
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Item # EarlyVan_v7_058 


[photo annotation:] 

The Freedom of Vancouver was conferred, by resolution of The Mayor and Aldermen, upon Major James 
Skitt Matthews, V.D., City Archivist, on November seventeenth, 1953, but the presentation of the 
illuminated Scroll was deferred until the annual complimentary banquet, given by the Park 
Commissioners to the Pioneers of Vancouver, "here before the train," at the Pavilion, Stanley Park, 
Monday, April 5, 1 954. In the presence of eighty pioneers, and one hundred citizens. His Worship 
Frederick J. Hume, Mayor, presented the Scroll, and offered congratulations. 

1 December 1954 -The City Witch. 

Major Matthews at telephone: "May I speak to Mr. Galloway, please?" 

Sweet Voice: (pause) "He's not in his office. Who shall I say called?" 

Major Matthews: "The City Archivist." 

Sweet Voice: "The City which?" 

Major Matthews: "I'm not the City Witch — I'm the City Archivist." 

Sweet Voice: "What's that?" 

Major Matthews: "Some fellow on the ninth floor." 


Spaniard Discoverer 

Of Fraser? 

^ By MAJ. S. S. Matthews 
Vancouver Archivist 

I Who discovered the Fraser riv- 
■ er? What European lirst saw the 
site of New Westminster? 

It is accepted by all; has been 
for decades, that Simon Fraser 
discovered the Fraser river, and 
lollowed it to a short distance be- 
low Marpole; c*i£equently he 
must have been the first white 
man to see the site ot your beauti- 
ful city. The story is not accept- 
able to me, for I believe that the 
river had already been discovered 
by the Spanish explorer, Pilot 
Jose Maria Nartaei, in the liny 
vessel the "Santa Saturnina". 
Narvaez was here in these waters 
in 1791; Fraser came in 1808. 

Narvaei ^w-as sent from Nootka 
to find out what was inside the 
Straits of Juan de Fuca, and ex- 
plored about Bellingham, sailed 
up the coast, anchored at White 
Eock; again at Point Grey. He 
Bailed into English Bay, named 
Stanley Park, Punta de la Bodega 
(Ferguson Point), and proceeded 
to Howe Sound in July, 1791, 

Next year, 1792, Capt. Vancou- 
ver met the Spaniards Galiano 
and Valdes off Point Grey. They 
told him one of their officers had 
found a large river and named it 
Kio Blanco, but they had tried to 
find it but could not. Vancouver 
answered that he had not seen a 
large river, and the two Spaniards 
thought it queer that all four of 
them could not find it, yet a pre- 
vious visitor had found it and 
named it. 

If Nar\'aez ever kept a log of 
his voyage no one seems to have 
seen it. He did, however, make a 
chart. Most historians find it dif- 
ficult to interpret his chart, but 
to one with local knowledge it is 
simple. My interpretation is that 
Narva e I anchored his ship off the 
Semiahmoo Indian village, pro- 
ceeded by small boat to Bound- 
ary Bay; then following the edge 
of the high land by one ot the 
many Indian trails,— precisely the 
sbme route as that of the Great 
Northern Railway today — until he 
came to the large river the Indians 
had told him about. He reached 
the shore opposite New West- 
minster, saw the river, but, being 
without a small boat was unable 
to embark on its waters, retraced 
his steps to Boundary Bay, em- 
barifcd on his ship, hoping to en- 
ter the river by its mouth further 

But, sailing north, the Fraser 
river sandheads extended into the 

sea so far that he could not get 
near the land, and the shallows 
forced him to continue to Point 
Grey, where he anchored in about 
20 feet. Then, taking a small boat, 
he proceeded up the North arm 
as far as Marpole, and returned 
downstream via the middle arm. 
How else can it be accounted for 
that, on his chart and in the pre- 
cise position of Sea Island, Nar- 
vaez marks an island of that is- 
land's shape? 

The volume of water in the 
north arm was so much smaller 
than the volume he had seen at 
New Westminster that Isarvaez 
was puzzled, and continued his 
search, convinced that, somewhere 

about there must be a wide mouth. 
Entering English Bay he hoped to 
find it, but failing, and being in 
haste on account of shortness of 
food for his many men crowded 
on a tiny vessel, gave tip the 
search, but marked all that land 
west ot Port Moody and New 
Westminster, "Island of Langara". 

There is no question as to the 
authenticity of his chart for it 
was used in connection with the 
arbitration proceedings under the 
German emperor to settle the in- 
ternational boundary. 

After s good many years' work, 
finally, some months ago 1 com- 
pleted by compilation "NARVAEZ, 

BLANCO, 179r', illustrated with 
ma^AS and photographs, and put it 
away. It is in typescript; there is 
no intention to publish it. It has 
been reviewed by Spanish histor- 
ians, and my contention that the 
Fraser ri\-er was discovered by 
Narvaez in 1791 has their approv- 
al, and they concur that he reach- 
ed the river bank opposite New 

It is felt that my point ot view 
may be of sufficient interest to 
the good people of New West- 
minster as to make it known. Stu- 
dents and others can easily obtain 
a copy of Narvaez's chart and puz- 
zle it' out for themselves as to 
what it means. Not more than 
half a dozen persons have ever 
seen my compilation, or know ot 
its existence, so that, at this mo- 
ment, the 'Salmon bellies' have the 
field to themselves. \ 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_059 


TheVancouver Province 

Published ev«cy day e»f*pt Sundays and holidays at the loutheaJt corner of Hgstings and 
Cunbie Streel*. Victory Square, Vancouver, B.C., by The South am Company Limited. 

President Vice-President and Publisher 


Time to honor Major Matthews 

Vancouver ha.i come to take its archi- 
vist. Major James Skitt Matthews, V.D., 
altogether too much for granted. For 
years we have gone to him whenever we 
wanted anything pertaining to Vancou- 
ver's history. He has enthusiastically dug 
up for us old pictures, documents, dates, 
anecdotes — practically anything we 

For more than 30 years lliis valiant 
old soldier has spent his time, hi.s pro- 
digious cnerjries and often large sums of 
his own money in gathering lor the city 
the story and relics of its beg^innings and 
its growth ■— a story marvelously com- 

This has not been alluweii to Ijecome 
a musty collection of curios. Anyone 
who visits the ai'chives mu.^t he im- 
pressed at the orderliness and compre- 
henaivenes.H -with which they have been 
organized, and the many demands made 
upon them hourly by people from all 
walks of life. 

Through Major Matthews' tenacious 
efforts — and only throuch those efforts 
— thi^ city now a magnificent 
record of its past that it will treasure for 
(renprations to come. 
Now Major Matthews is in his seventy- 

eiphth year. His voice is still strnnfr; he 
is as keen as ever on the trail of an old 
manuscript or faded photograph. But he 
realixes that he cannot forever k^ep 
watch and ward over his beloved archives. 

"Some Monday," he tells his friends 
a little sadly, "1 will not be here." 

\;incoiivt'r should do twn things for 
the man who has recorded this city's 
story : 

V.',. should take st.-ps to the 
archives on a l);*,<iis that will guarantee 
their pro^ctvation and public accesjiibility 
for all time to come. 

We should commfmurate the .selfless 
efforts of "The Major ' ko that those who 
come after «ill be able to tjnderstand in 
.<iome small measure what he has con- 
Iributed. It would not be amiss formally 
to name the archives "The Matthews' 
.\rchives" and commemorate the major's 
name and work in brass or stone above 
the files on which he has labored so long. 

And we should do it now, while the 
major is still with us. 

The man who recorded the achieve- 
ments of Fft many of niir pioneers should 
not himself remain un honored and un- 

Fridoy. Se ptamber 23, t955 
Trtbufe h> archivist 

Sir' .Nethin^ uhicti has appeared in 
the Vancouver press for a very Inne 
time ha.! touched me so deeply as haa 
the editorial about Ma>ar J. S. Matthcwi 
'Sept 201. 

Major .Matthews is a sturdy man, of 
deep convictions. He )s intensely loyal 
to Vancouver and ha.^ so ste^'ped him- 
self in the intimate history o( the city 
that he has almost tnade himself Van- 
couver's memory. 

I first knew him in World War One. 
when he served in France under my 
command. As a soldier 1 re.spected him. 
Since our return to Vancouver 1 have 
watched his profjre.s.s with ever ifrow- 
ing admiration 

My pride in his character and ac- 
complishment malce me welcome your 
sufij^estion that the city archives, which 
he has salvafjed and arraniled in orcSer. 
be put on it permanent .ind substantial 
fooling and that hereafter they be known 
orfk-iaUy as the Matthews Vancouver 

[ would tit) even further Major Mat- 
thews has not only given hi.s time and 
his energies to the .service of (he city, 
but he has also spent much of his own 
money. What he has doite should be 
recognized by a special generous honor- 
arium, one large enough to compen- 
sate him LQ part for his inestimable 
contribution. Only an inspired zealot 
could do what Major Matthews has done. 

Without him, Vancouver s archives 
would still be a chaotic mess. 
Vancouver VlfTORW.ODLUM 

• » * 

Sir: t certainly am in favor at cmn- 
nwmorating the selfless efforts o( Major 
Matthews, city archivist 

We all benefit from the fruits of 
his labors and m:iny of us know of his 
patience and kindness in dealing with- 
individuals inttrcMed m hi> wrirk. 

t am very much in agreement with 
the fact that steps should be taken to 
commemorate the major s name and 
vork as suggested in vour editorial 

North Vaocouvci. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_060 


Terra Nova. 

Origin of name. W.K. Mellis. Newfoundland fishermen. 

Conversation with William Knight Mellis, 3228 Vanness Avenue, pioneer, August 1886, of "Mellis' Stage" 
to Terra Nova, Lulu Island, who kindly called at the City Archives this morning, 1 7 October 1 949. 

Mr. Mellis: "My dad named Terra Nova. He was James Alexander Mellis. It means Newfoundland, i.e., 
new land; Terra Nova. That was the last piece of ground the government owned on Lulu Island — all the 
rest had been preempted. They sold my father and Hugh Youdall, I think it was eighty acres, but, anyway, 
it was quite a bit; but it had to be divided into ten acre lots for Newfoundland fishermen. There were the 
men — Parsons, Gordon, Home and Haugh — the latter pronounced 'half.' They fished salmon; millions of 
salmon those days. Three of them. Parson, Home and Gordon died there; they 'stuck,' no descendants, 
none of them there now, all gone. The Mellises came from Newfoundland; so did Parsons and Youdall. 
They could not get enough Newfoundlanders to go there so they got anyone they could. Just three 
Newfoundland families." 


Item # Early Van_v7_061 


[photo annotation:] 

View of Vancouver and Harbour. 

Winter of 1 887-1 888. (eitlier Oct. 1 887 or Feb. 1 888). From tine magazine "Tine New West," publislied by 
tine Canadian Historical Publisliing Co., Winnipeg, Man. 1888. View from upper floor of first Hotel 
Vancouver on south west corner of Granville and Georgia Sts. The area of vacant land in the foreground 
is bounded by Dunsmuir, Seymour, Granville and Georgia Streets, and in 1952, mostly covered by the 
great emporium of the Hudson's Bay Co. The sidewalk on Granville St was of wood planks ten feet long; 
on other streets six feet long. The walks on Seymour and Dunsmuir streets were laid in the later part of 
1887. Streets were of wood planks, twenty feet long, in the centre. Water was from wells; running water 
from Capilano Creek was laid on about a year after this photograph was taken. Lacking drainage the 
ground was very wet, and skunk cabbage grew luxuriantly in the bog. Sidewalks and planked roads were 
raised above ground level by stringers on low posts. Two years earlier the land was deep in the dark 
depths of a forest where huge trees towered 250 feet to the skies. Sewerage was being planned for; in 
the meantime dry earth outhouses sufficed. Electric light poles are shown in position. The cut granite 
blocks in the lower left corner are for the "New York Block" (C.P.R. offices) about to be erected. The 
wooden building on lower edge centre stood 1 00 feet from north east corner of Georgia and Granville Sts. 
The residence on extreme right is that of Major Lacey R. Johnson, in charge of mechanical matters. Can. 
Pac. Ry, in B.C. It faces Seymour St. The white spots scattered about are large boulders of glacial origin. 
In the distance the "Post Office Block" (brick) on Hastings St, near Homer, appears. City Archives. 

J.S.M. Mar. 1952. 

Conversation, 28 May 1952, with Miss Ida Murphy, 336 Dunsmuir Street, who, 


1887, i.e., sixty-five years. 

Sacred Heart Academy. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy. Miss Ida Murphy. Miss Maud Murphy. 
"Jubilee Villas." St. Ann's Academy. 

Miss Murphy: "At first, St. Ann's Academy was called Sacred Heart Academy. It was on Homer Street, 
west side, in a private house which stood a few lots from Dunsmuir Street, that is, south of Dunsmuir. It 
was in a house owned by old Mr. Powis, who was the father of Mrs. J.M. Whitehead. Afterwards Mr. 
Powis lived on Hamilton Street." (Note: Mr. J. Powis, real estate agent, in 1891 lived on Homer Street. 
J.M. Whitehead lived at the same address.) "I was the first pupil registered. My sister, Maud, who is 
younger, joined me the next year." 


"We lived on Dunsmuir Street. There were no house numbers in those days. It was all logs and stumps. 
Today it is numbered 336 Dunsmuir Street. I lived with Father and Mother, Mr. and Mrs. William Murphy. 
He was the first merchant tailor in Vancouver. 

"Father went to Calgary in 1 883. He came to British Columbia 25* April 1 887, and went to Victoria. Father 
came to Quebec City from Ireland when he was three years old. He came from Wexford. Mother was a 
United Empire Loyalist. Her paternal grandfather was a Colonel Sails Warner. He was the leader of a 
party which settled in the County of Aston on the St. Francis River, Quebec. I don't know where Mother 
was born — somewhere in Quebec, I suppose. They were married at Sherbrooke, Quebec. They had been 
married fifty years in the year she died. It was 1 3"^ August 1 91 7 she died. I was born 3'^'' December 1 875 
and there were three children older than I am." 

SACRED Heart Academy. 3 September 1888. 

"Well. About the start of the Sacred Heart Academy. It was only a few steps from our home. It was started 
in the front room of a private house. The Sisters, three of them, started it. There was Sister Mary 
Alexander — she was Sister Superior — and was assisted by Sister Mary Infant Jesus, and Sister Teresa, 
who was the music teacher. It was under the jurisdiction of Rev. Father Fay. It was started on the 3'^'^ 
September 1888, the year after we came here. Before I went to Sacred Heart Academy I went to a little 


school down on Hastings Street. At the time I was twelve. After I joined there was Martha Tierney, 
afterwards Dr. Dalby's wife, and Albert Jean Roi — I don't know how to spell it — it was a Belgian name; 
Atwell King, who afterwards was one of the first party to climb The Lions'; and Joseph Carrier, a French 
boy whose parents kept an hotel down in Yaletown. 

"We learned our lessons, of course. All we had was a table with some chairs around it. There were five 
only of us that first day. I don't know how many came after that. At the time the Sacred Heart Academy 
was in course of construction, and we moved there between Christmas and New Year, 1888-1889. In 
January 1889, the Sacred Heart Academy on the lane corner started and we left the little house. The 
house was afterwards moved down Homer Street to the 700 block, west side, and was pulled down about 
a year ago to make a parking lot. It was a plain little house with a peak roof in front and a verandah 
across the whole front." 

"Jubilee Villas." 336 Dunsmuir Street. First duplex. Ivy. Hastings Sawmill. 

"I think our home was the first duplex in Vancouver. It was built in the summer of 1 887, because we 
moved in the end of July 1 887. We settled in Victoria first and then, on the first July 1 887, Father and Mr. 
Roberts came from Victoria to jointly buy our home. It was not quite finished. Father bought the west side. 
Mr. William Roberts, who afterwards had a little jewellery store on Cordova and Cambie streets, bought 
the east side. Originally it was brick veneer, but afterwards Father had it covered with concrete. Originally 
it had a peak in the centre — as shown in this photo — and was covered with ivy, but when Father bought 
the whole building he had the single peak removed and replaced with two peaks as it is now, and shown 
in the photos you have of it. The ivy which covered our home came from the garden of the Hastings 
Sawmill. Mary Allan, daughter of the shoe man and afterwards Mrs. Pyke, and Mildred Roberts, 
afterwards Mrs. W.E. Green, went down to the Hastings Sawmill to get it, and I — as a little girl — was taken 

Note: Photograph Str. N. 144, P. 233 shows the store of Mr. William Murphy about three weeks after "The 

Conversation with Mrs. Lilian M. Nelson, 2910 East 28™ Avenue, Vancouver, 7 
September 1948. 

Formerly housekeeper, Vancouver City Hospital, southeast corner Pender and Cambie streets, who, 
together with Mrs. Phyllis Mason, widow, visitor from London, England, kindly called at the City Archives 
this afternoon to tell me about Miss Hill, the first Victorian Order of Nurses nurse in Vancouver. We had a 
"spot" of tea and biscuits at my desk. This is my 70'^ birthday. 

Miss Maud Hill. Victorian Order of Nurses. 

Mrs. Nelson: "Miss Hill lodged with the Mutries who lived on the southwest corner of Cambie and 
Dunsmuir. That was where I first met her. She took her meals at the City Hospital. That was the 
contribution which the Vancouver City Hospital made to the first effort of the Victorian Order of Nurses — 
they gave Miss Hill her board. 

"Miss Hill stayed with the Victorian Order of Nurses about three years. After leaving the V.O.N. Miss Hill 
went to California and then came back and went in charge of the hospital at Britannia Beach. There 
wasn't a doctor; she was nurse-in-charge. Cases requiring a doctor were sent to Vancouver." 

Britannia Beach. Chilliwack Hospital. "Chilliwack like heaven." Dr. Rothwell. New 
Westminster Private Hospital, 1910. 

"Then I was at loose ends for a time and we got an idea to actually build a hospital at Chilliwack. There 
wasn't a hospital at Chilliwack then. So, we went up by the C.P.R. train to Harrison, crossed over the 
river — the only way to go then — and came back down the river on a steamer. We met a Dr. Rothwell" (his 
son is a doctor in New Westminster now); "visited him in New Westminster. He made us welcome, and 
when we proposed a private hospital for New Westminster he was quite taken with the idea. The Royal 
Columbian Hospital was too crowded. Chilliwack was a hard place to reach in those days. You may have 
heard the expression that 'Chilliwack is like heaven — hard to get into it but when once there never want to 
come out.' 


"Miss Hill started the first private hospital in New Westminster in 1910. It was known as the 'New 
Westminster Private Hospital,' and was on a little square, called Townshend Street, at the corner of Third 
Avenue and Third Street — 3'^'^ and 3'^'^. That was in 1910. She sold in 1912. It lasted a year or so 
afterwards and then ceased. I don't think they made it pay, but we did. I was with Miss Hill. It was the first 
private hospital in New Westminster. I think it is a boarding house now. 

"Afterwards Miss Hill was everywhere — all over the place. She could not settle down. She was at the 
hospital at Alberni where Dick Burde was on the hospital board. She was at other places too; all over. 
She died in New Westminster in 1936." 

Mrs. Nelson was good enough to prepare me a typed statement concerning Miss Hill; a copy is attached. 


Mrs. Henry Mutrie had been a Miss Nelson and was sister-in-law to Mrs. Lilian M. Nelson. Miss Hill 
boarded with the Mutries, but there was some reason why this was not mentioned. 

The Victorian Order of Nurses. The first nurse, 1 901 , at Vancouver. Miss Hill. 

A narrative, by Mrs. Lilian M. Nelson, a close friend, who was, at one time, housekeeper at the Vancouver 
City Hospital, and who, in September 1948, resides at 2910 East 28*^ Avenue. Miss Hill died at New 
Westminster in 1936. 

Vancouver's first V.O.N, nurse, 1901. 

Isabella Maud Hill was born at Hillsboro, Ont., in 1871, of Irish parents; one of six sisters, 
four of whom chose nursing as a profession and followed it until they reached retirement age. 

The six girls, with their three brothers, were educated at home by private tutors, schools 
being far apart in those days. The girls were also well trained in all domestic arts. 

Maud was the first to enter the nursing field, and received her training at the Hamilton 
General Hospital from Miss Bowman. If her academic standing lacked something, her nursing 
technique was undeniable. Conscientious, sympathetic, and understanding, she won her spurs. A 
born pioneer and organiser she looked for opportunity, and decided to try the South African war 
service. This did not meet with the approval of her parents, so she looked nearer home. 

The Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada had established a training school in Montreal 
under the benign influence of the indefatigable Lady Aberdeen. The supervisor at that time was 
Miss McLeod, to whom Miss Hill applied for a post graduate course, her one condition being that 
she should be sent west. This was granted, and in November, 1901, she arrived in Vancouver 
ready for work. Two nurses had preceded her a few years before during the Klondyke Rush. 
Finding little encouragement in Vancouver, they had turned north where they were needed now. 

When Miss Hill arrived, Mrs. James Macauley was president of the Vancouver 
committee. Mrs. Henry Newton was a member with others whose names I have forgotten. 
Arrangements were soon made to start work again. Various obstacles were gradually overcome 
and a foundation laid as results of today, 1 948, amply prove. In 1 904 Miss Hill felt the pioneering 
part was finished and looked for fresh fields. True to her instincts. Miss Hill never held an easy 
post for long, but immediately looked for a harder one. Her choice was T.B. work, which, in 
Vancouver, she found in the Anti-T.B. Association, of which Mrs. Frank Harrison was president. 
Later she served in the same cause in Vancouver, state of Washington and also in Georgia, 
U.S.A. In our own City Health Department she served under Dr. Underhill. During World War I 
she opened up Shaughnessy Military Hospital under Dr. Carson. She held many other strenuous 
positions until she retired to her home in New Westminster, where she died in 1936. 

Submitted by request to Major Matthews, City Archivist, 
Vancouver, by her old friend and contemporary, Lilian M. 


A Brrsr SunrhroKtErh 

to <Ealfxa Haimlrt's 

Bnspirmg Air 

"® Canada " 

O Canada, our heritage, our love, 

Thy worth we praise all other lands above. 

From sea to sea, throughout thy length, 
from pole to borderland. 

At Britain's sid«, whate'er betide, unflinch- 
ingly we'llstand. 

And as we sing, "God Save the King," 

"Guide Thou the Empire wide," do we 

' 'And prosper Canada from shore to shore, " 

The uhove i^prsG arranged hi} the late BrlQadier- 
(ienernt Buchfiri, is intended to cont^ep Imperial an 
ireti a^ Canadian patriotifim. 

Jendet Q-nd Hqwp. sheets. J,$.-rBtitftie.W5,Q. uotiTignte-mbcr Yelates-.- "T tookmii ^eat. Besi^ie -mu blaf-i; wnt; n mm tad. 
f^^j ..,- 1 I „»t ..^^j , : I . T-Ln «v..l..ii I - '. f ._ : M - _k__. . .'1 ~ 7T^ _ ■ f_ ■■ ' I L ■ T? 

Canada" Vg-ncouver, 9^ Feb. Igio. Ttiis ratd w asfountj m ig53 atnong thp pajiets n^ F.C.Wndq E.;i^.,Jii.i^ pteViJ^i.^, 

Ca-nadtaTt Clu^Vancpuygt. Ifia lihe only k-nmxn cohj,a'nd wa', u setl (it hhP|W5f. publit ■tmnmn ot -fl rcmnda."iTLVawcou 
VeT. On Q'^^' Feb. LQIQ, about fiflrij newb t l-^ a<.^rniA,t jcl limrViPnt, m n ■^^r.^^ ^ M \'c\,p-T>tUpt ^a.\\l south *^as^t fftTle^ 

-CMd we had not: used jaYeviousltj. rhe'frifl|)lfe Leaf For ei^-f ^ customa/ilij iirti g, wa^ om ^?tie <tide,aTid, tutn'mg Jt- nvw ; was 

5UT|y(i5ed to see aveYse on the, other side. ItfeaefO Ca-na<4n.". Wp h gdTifeiraf hfenvd a^it.yd.d.TiQt knoif< tune naf wttfds 

The Tneal -^inishefJ^thp ehnWTtin-n Q-nTtnuncei i SQ-mtHtrng UTtusual; the^e wasta be Simq. Twn fellow ojf'icers o^miTiP i-n. 
6'" Cahtflin W. HarL-TH'-Hatn q-nd Leutfun-iil: Tn^e^ Sclatgr Qot uft an d wetejomed'bu Th^Ja-rnQs WiltiP^nf 6 ^ 





TVestiLjbptLQTi Cfiurck; all had sf>lgTTdidtfQiefc«i.V;eii5l:enEd QtteflHvelijj the-newtune wttsve^y 9QQd.;t:hftTimeajp^laudgd. 

The n?iriie<;<v hu P^o^t^<tot'htea.1ie^J^^l|<iga^tle■^llpo^^ tha fe-r^alataMonS QyCaj^tn'm VJa-ncnu^P.Yimp feftl thfe iittie Cat'd.'^ht-.idt. 
QuTpla.l:es,CL-ntiv(tTil!backt(>our offices all un con scions ojthe hi&tatir sifjWifLcaTice o^the Bceff.iftTi,nTiri Ipnvititjheh'nnj 

the -tneinetito Of it, the careiSjWB might hant taken fo be chetia fifed, asfeljcs ", 

The latttti'* Wade-'s pafievs were [^reaeTitgd tn thP nhj Archives, VancQuwetjhij hi 5.1nujhtFf;7n"nmTjPtijWfid(>,if>AS Cad. 

lero St. Far campie.te. i-nj-ormQ-tiaTi see ))aTn^hlfct"Q Canada", pjhllshed. hij Cii\) fltch'ivE-^,lg|tj 

i:ityfltchiv«s.5.5.T«. Si 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_062 


[illustration annotation:] 

"O Canada," Vancouver, 9*^ Feb. 1 91 0. This card was found in 1 953 among tine papers of F.C. Wade, 
Esq., first president, Canadian Club, Vancouver. It is the only known copy, and was used at the first 
public singing of "O Canada" in Vancouver. On 9**^ Feb. 1910, about fifty members assembled for 
luncheon in a small hall, the "Pender Hall," south west corner Pender and Howe streets. J.S. Matthews, a 
young member, relates: - "I took my seat. Beside my plate was a printed card we had not used previously. 
The "Maple Leaf Forever," customarily sung, was on one side, and, turning it over, was surprised to see a 
verse on the other side. It read "O Canada." We had never heard of it; did not know tune nor words. The 
meal finished, the chairman announced something unusual; there was to be song. Two fellow officers of 
mine in the 6"^ D.C.O.R., Captain W. Hart-McHarg and Lieutenant James Sclater got up, and were joined 
by Andrew Milne, of St. John's Presbyterian Church; all had splendid voices. We listened attentively; the 
new tune was very good; then we applauded. The address by Professor Meaney, of Seattle, upon the 
explorations of Captain Vancouver. We left the little cards beside our plates, and went back to our offices 
all unconscious of the historic significance of the occasion, and leaving behind the memento of it, the 
cards, we might have taken to be cherished as relics." 

The late Mr. Wade's papers were presented to the City Archives, Vancouver, by his daughter, Mrs. 
Margery Wade, 1035 Cardero St. For complete information, see pamphlet "O Canada," published by City 
Archives, 1947. City Archives. J.S.M. 53 

"O Canada." Buchan. 

Copy of a statement on British Columbia Electric Railway Co. Ltd. letterhead (where Mr. Buchan's son is 

The first singing of "O Canada" in Vancouver is recorded in an article on page 1 1 of the 
"Daily News-Advertiser," Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, February 10* 1910. The article 
is headed "Pacific Coast Exploration," and contains the account of the proceedings of a luncheon 
meeting of the VANCOUVER CANADIAN CLUB on Wednesday, 9'^ February 1910. 

The article states that the guest of honor was Professor Edmond L. Meany of the 
University of Washington, who addressed the Club on "CAPTAIN GEORGE VANCOUVER'S 

In the absence of Mr. William Godfrey, president of the Vancouver Canadian Club, the 
head of the table was occupied by Mr. Ewing Buchan, vice-president, who introduced the guest 
speaker. The guests on Mr. Buchan's right were Professor Meany, and the Rev. Dr. Perry. On his 
left were Colonel West, United States Consul, and Mr. F.C. Wade, K.C. The reference to "O 
Canada" is quoted as follows: 

A unique feature at the close of the luncheon was the singing by all present of 
the following inspiring stanza written by Brigadier General Buchan to music composed by 
Calixa Lavalee. 

O Canada, our heritage, our love. 

Thy worth we praise all other lands above. 

From sea to sea throughout the length, from pole to borderland, 

At Britain's side, whate'er betide, unflinchingly we stand. 

And as we sing, "God Save the King," 

"Guide Thou the Empire Wide," do we implore, 

"And prosper Canada from shore to shore." 

lO'^'Feb. 1947 

The above sheet was prepared by Mr. Percy Halcro Buchan, son of Mr. Ewing Buchan, and nephew of 
General Buchan during the publication of the pamphlet "O CANADA" by Major J.S. Matthews. Major 


Matthews had not had time to look up old newspapers, so Mr. Buchan volunteered to do it for him. Major 
Matthews adds a footnote: 

Small, upstairs hall, Pender Hall, south west corner Howe and Pender streets. Capt. Hart-McHarg 
and Lieut. James Sclater, and a Mr. Milne sang. I was present. 

J.S. Matthews. 

[Letter FROM P.H. Buchan.] 

5762 Cypress St. 
Vancouver, Canada 

14 July 1947 

Dear Major Matthews, 

You have done a fine job, and Mr. Allen and I can well be proud to have had a hand in it. 

The "O Canada" booklet shows good taste throughout. Justice has been done in a worthy 
cause, well deserved honor has been paid to the memory of my excellent father and history has 
been written in indelible ink. It has been by the hand of Providence that we, under your able 
guidance, have been the instruments whereby this work has been well and truly performed. 

I personally am very happy and contented, the more so because of yourthoughtfulness 
in presenting me with the first printed copy, and for your very kind remarks written therein. 

Thank you! 

Sincerely yours 

P.M. [H.] Buchan 

"O Canada." 

31^' Aug. 1948. 

Dear Mr. Henstridge: 

Through the courtesy of Mr. C.A. Sutherland, Mayor's Secretary, I am privileged to read 
your article on "CANADA'S NATIONAL FLAG" in "The Municipal Review of Canada," July-Aug. 
1948, page 12. 

After reading it, it suggests itself to me that I should send you a pamphlet, prepared on 
this desk, on our national hymn, "O Canada," the words of the "Buchan version" having been 
written in Vancouver. (I had the pleasure of being present at the first public singing.) The 
pamphlet deals with facts, with facts alone — expresses no opinion. It is contrary to archival ethics 
to express opinions. Our duty is to furnish correct, full and all facts. You can rely, absolutely, upon 
the accuracy of the facts in this pamphlet. They are from original documents here. 

Your article commences by saying that you have been interested in heraldry since 1921 ; 

it ends by saying that "by getting a flag that is acceptable to the majority of Canadians 

presenting it to Ottawa for acceptance." 

I have extended you the courtesy of listening attentively to your written argument; it is 
not, I presume, too much to ask you to listen to mine. My representation is that it was an 
admission that you are a novitiate. Men spend their lives on heraldry, and at the end are not so 
sure they understand it fully. About 1 921 I published "HONOURS OF THE EMPIRE AND WHAT 
THEY MEAN," but, gracious, what I don't know about heraldry would fill a library. In this great city 
of Vancouver, 400,000 people or more, I know of no qualified herald, but there are "millions" who 
think they are. 


But, the gist of your whole article is condensed into that final sentence commencing "by 
getting" and "to the majority." What about the minority? And, answering my own question I send 
you the pamphlet "O Canada." In Vancouver our people will not sing the Weir version — they think 
it is gibberish — and one officer, rank of General, commanding Canadian troops in France in the 
late war, said to me, "Imagine asking soldiers to sing a thing like that?" But, in eastern Canada, 
and I think on the prairies, they won't or don't sing the Buchan version. So, there you are, and this 
being a free country we are not allowed to take a buggy whip and make them. So one sings "At 
Britain's side," and the other "stands on guard." I think it is rather an advantage to have two 
versions because in Canada we have a choice of what we sing, whereas in the British Isles they 
must sing "God Save" whether they like it or not. They haven't an alternative. 

Now, if you cannot get the people of Canada to agree upon a national hymn, how do you 
expect them ever to agree upon a national flag? We are of BRITISH Columbia and proud of it. 
Our old capital was New Westminster, our present one is Victoria, after Victoria, the Good. 
Vancouver faces English Bay. It backs on a good Scottish name, Fraser. Mt. Crown looks down 
on Vancouver from the mountains across the harbour. Our streets are "Imperial," "King Edward 
Ave." Our parks are "Queen Elizabeth," and our schools are "King George High" and "Queen 
Mary." All our history is interwoven with the Union Jack. It was the first flag to fly over our local 
waters — the flag our Larsen flew when he took our ship "St. Roch" through the ice of the North 
West Passage, the first ship ever to sail from Vancouver to Halifax around the north of the 
American continent as, in 1513, Magellan was the first to sail around the south of it. Every school 
in British Columbia flies the Union Jack. It was the flag of our grandfathers, of our fathers, and the 
only flag we, this generation, have ever known. It is the most respected flag on earth. 

A flag is a symbol designed to a certain pattern, and the colors usually include red, white 
and blue. If that pattern comprises bits of colored cloth sewn together into stars and stripes it 
makes the American eagle scream. It if it sewn to another pattern — the same bits of colored 
cloth — into the form of a Union Jack it makes the Scottish, English, Welsh glow with pride. In both 
cases the symbol is nought more than bits of colored rag, but the pattern of the emblem reminds 
us of our tradition, and a national spirit is nothing more than tradition. In so far as the British 
Empire is now concerned, tradition is about all there is left of it. 

What I cannot understand is how it is expected that Canadians can suddenly forget all 
the tradition, folklore, and all that we have held dear since we were children and transfer it to 
some design, no matter how pretty, we have never seen, which means nothing. A man cannot be 
made to love a woman by law. So, if Ottawa says "you must," and we say "we won't" i.e., majority 
and minority, where does the "national" come in? We are back to "O Canada," and the devil 
himself cannot make our people sing the Weir(d) version, nor can the Union Jack be obliterated. 
To my knowledge, for sixty years the flag question has been argued, and we are no further ahead 
than we were in 1888. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 


T.G.A. Henstridge, Esq., 
Lions Club, St. Lambert 

per courtesy Municipal Review of Canada. 


Remembrance Day services at Cenotaph, 1950. 

City Archives 

City Hall 

Vancouver, Canada 

23''' Oct. 1950. 





Dear Mr. Sutlierland: 

A cliange from "Buclian," "O Canada," to tlie "Weir" at tine Cenotapli Remembrance Day 
services would meet witli my strongest disapproval. These reasons are given: 

1 . The Weir version arose from a competition sponsored by an American controlled monthly 
magazine whose American controlled editors were obligated to award a prize to someone, 
regardless of the suitability of what was submitted; a contest similar to our own local "Bob 
White" quiz. The impropriety of judges, associated with a foreign though friendly nation 
deciding what they thought interpreted Canadian national feeling is obvious. 

2. The Weir version is neither anthem nor hymn, but is a song. On account of the endless 
repetition of its words, it has been referred to by citizens of the United States as "gibberish." 
Any Canadian national anthem should have the respect of foreign critics. 

3. A distinguished Vancouver soldier of high rank, and of service in both wars, commented upon 
the Weir version with the words, "Imagine asking a soldier to sing a dam thing like that." The 
condemnation is founded on the fact that the more brave the soldier the more modest he is, 
and that it is repulsive to a brave soldier to loudly proclaim to a listening assemblage, 
repeating it over and over again, that he is "standing on guard." He feels like a fool. 

4. Whilst in command of troops, I would not, personally, permit my command to suffer the 
indignity of singing what, among soldiers, is sneeringly referred to as "The Zombie's Song," a 
satirical reference to the "standing on guard," which is what "Zombies," in time of war, are 
accused of doing. And, if any of my command did, inadvertently, sing it, they would be 
reprimanded for unsoldierly conduct. 


The Buchan version was composed by Ewing Buchan, the president of the Vancouver 
Canadian Club, a club formed about 1908 to foster Canadian national spirit; he was also 
president, Vancouver Board of Trade. The Buchan family have been eminent Canadians in 
Ontario since 1834 . General Lawrence Buchan, C.M.G., C.V.O., A.D.C., was second-in- 
command of the Royal Canadian Regiment in the South African Campaign (Boer War), and was 
co-composer. It was to him that His late Majesty King George V made the celebrated remark, 
"What is the name of that magnificent tune?", then without words, which led to the two Canadian 
born brothers composing the Buchan version. 

May I venture to remind you that I am a Canadian resident in Vancouver over fifty years; 
that I served over 30 years as a peace-time volunteer soldier in this city; that in war I commanded 
the first and second waves of the Capture of Regina Trench; that I was among the founders of the 
Vancouver Canadian Club in which my membership extends over 40 years. Further, that I 
suggested and organised the first Armistice Day Service in Vancouver, 1919, and have attended 
31 services since at all of which the Buchan version has been sung. 


Most sincerely 
J.S. Matthews 
Major, Retired 

Cliarles A. Sutlierland, Esq. 
Mayor's Secretary, 
City Hall, 

"O Canada." 

IS'^'Nov. 1951 

"O Canada" 

Dear Mr. McAdam: 

Sunday was Remembrance Day, and, at the Cenotaph it poured with rain. My umbrella 
did not save me from a soaking. There were certain features which might be mentioned. For 
some extraordinary reason the troops paraded without overcoats. Why officers, year after year — 
and some Nov. 1 1 ths are cold — permit that sort of thing is beyond my comprehension. I have 
complained again and again but still they do it. I think the men want to show their medals. And the 
Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, and other organisations usually come ill prepared in that respect. 
Some gentlemen, including the Mayor, kept their hats off; the Mayor's hair looked as though he 
had taken it from under the bathroom tap. I enclose you the programme. You will see that we use 
the Buchan version. Five or six thousand people sing it all together. 

I came home just in time to hear the Princess Elizabeth deliver, over the radio in N.S., her 
farewell speech to the people of Canada. Then a great chorus of beautiful voices sung "O 
CANADA"; it was magnificently rendered. But, what I heard was "O CANADA, stand on guard, on 
guard, stand on guard for thee." You may be able to make head and tail of it, but it is another 
thing beyond my comprehension. 

We are supposed to have a Canadian flag. The British Columbia Govt, fly it over the 
Court House; the Dominion Government fly it over the Post Office, and down at Evans, Coleman 
Evans wharf one can see it on the stern of a British cargo tramp, or one of Capt. Cates' tugs. 
Then, when the Princess comes, it suddenly vanishes; Union Jacks are everywhere — hardly a 
Canadian ensign to be seen — and the regiments she inspects carry a Union Jack as their color. 

My idea in placing these things before you is to point out that we still fly the Union Jack; 
we still stand at Britain's side, even though those eastern chaps prefer to stand on guard. Wish 
they would stand on guard against the high cost of living. 

With best wishes, 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

W.A. McAdam Esq., C.M.G. 
British Columbia House 


General Odlum and the soldier's rum, 1916-1917. Somme and Vimy, 1916-1917. 

In connection with tliis famous incident: 

Lieutenant-Colonel John Weightman Warden, D.S.O., O.B.E., E.D., raised and commanded the 102""^ 
Battalion Canadian Infantry, commonly called the "102"'' North British Columbians." I met him first when I 
was a lieutenant in the 6*^ regiment, "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles," and he was a private in the 
same regiment. Subsequently I was a company commander under him — major — at Comox and at Regina 
Trench, Somme, where I, wounded and on a stretcher, left him, 21 October 1916. 

Beside my fireside on Maple Street, Vancouver, he told me that the four commanders of the four 
battalions comprising the Eleventh Canadian Infantry Brigade, that is, 54"^ of Kootenay, 75* of Toronto, 
87*^ of Montreal, and 102"'' of British Columbia, were requested by General Odium, commanding the 
brigade, to vote as to whether the rum should be stopped or not. Colonel Warden told me that two voted 
one way and two voted the other, but Colonel Warden would not tell me which two. He said, "Two of them 
are dead now" (killed in action) "and it would not be fair to those who are dead to tell which two." 

It is obvious that General Odium decided the matter with his casting vote, for the rum was withdrawn. 

There has never been the slightest suggestion of ire against the two, or even four commanders of 
battalions, for it was recognised that when the brigade commander suggests a thing the inference is that 
he wants the support of his subordinates, and, in this case, two of them gave it to him, possibly against 
their better judgment, and that two risked his displeasure in opposing him. 

J.S. Matthews 

late Major, "C" Co., 102"" Can. Inf. Bn. 

"From B.C. to Baisieux." 

Being the Narrative History of the "102^° Canadian Infantry Battalion." 

Page 37: 

Nov. 19, 1916 Two hours after receipt of the order the battalion with Lieut.-Colonel Warden in 
command ploughed its way in the gathering dusk through the familiar mud of Courcelette. The 
night was more than usually dark and the mud worse than ever; in consequence it was not until 
the early hours of the 20'^ that final relief was effected. This meant that the men had been 
struggling through natural difficulties for many hours before their real ordeal commenced. 
Throughout the coming tour of duty our men found the Germans ever more active and aggressive 
than on previous occasions. Though there was no "going over the top" the tour was a heavy one. 
The battalion was beginning to feel exhausted before going in, and the long stretch of hard work 
under particularly galling conditions tried the men severely. Moreover a paralyzing blow had been 
sustained during the brief spell spent out of the front line; orders had been received from Brigade 
that for the future the rum issue for all units of the 11* Brigade would be discontinued. What 
gratuitous hardship this deprivation under conditions obtaining on the Somme entailed on the 
men no pen can describe; in wet and cold and mud rum is no longer "The Demon Rum"; it is "The 
Life Saver," the one thing which restores the frozen circulation and combats the deadening chill. 
But the decree went forth and for four months spent in the raw and bitter Somme area and later 
on the wild and freezing slopes of Vimy Ridge the 11* Brigade struggled to its duties unsustained 
by the one drop of comfort which is laid down in K., R. & O. as a permissible issue. To add insult 
to injury hot soup was substituted which always came up the line over salt, increasing the thirst 
which even before was recognized torture of a front line where water had to be hauled up on 
men's backs, and earning for the 11* Brigade the unenviable cognomen of "The Pea-Soup 
Brigade." May the Moral Reformer and the Teetotal Crank gain comfort to their souls by the 
reflection that for four months some 4,000 men had their hardships increased by the cruel 
enforcement of their bigoted doctrines. And these men were all volunteers. 


"Moral Reformer and Teetotal Crank." 

Brigadier General Odium, commanding 11 '^Canadian Infantry Brigade, is meant. 


Vancouver, B.C. 
18* November 1947 

Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth, 
Buckingham Palace, 

All Vancouver wishes you happiness and eagerly looks forward to welcoming you and your 
husband on your visit to Canada next year. 

Charles Jones 

The coronation. 

Coronation Day, 2"'' June, 1953 
(as darkness falls) 

Dear Mr. McAdam: 

I arose at 3:00 a.m. Six hours later, at 9:00 a.m. I turned off the radio. Except for 
intermissions for a cup of tea, I listened, and at the conclusion I was sore with sitting. The 
reception was perfect. 

The mighty and magnificent, the mystery and the marvel of it all leaves me bewildered, 
and I, of Vancouver, am not alone; my nieces were up even earlier. They heard the Archbishop's 
questions and charges; Her Majesty's responses. They tell me they heard every word of her 
Oath; somehow I missed that part. We heard the description, which the announcer said was the 
most beautiful he had ever seen, as the Queen passed out of the west door, wearing her crown. 
We listened as the Queen Mother entered her carriage, and then heard of the huge green 
umbrellas which sheltered the eminent, and finally the ancient coach drove up, and Her Majesty 
commenced her progress. We followed the progress up Whitehall, Pall Mall, Piccadilly, Hyde 
Park, Marble Arch, Oxford street. Regent street, and finally The Mall, and we did not leave her 
until she had entered her Palace. Band after band played "God Save the Queen," slowly, 
ponderously magnificent music, as she passed. The announcers described those from Fiji, 
Somaliland, Bermuda, Kenya, The Cape, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom as they 
passed. It spoke of the great of the Commonwealth seated, unperturbed as the rain fell, or, now 
and again, a glint of sunshine. As for the Irish — southern — no word of them. Not a word did I hear. 

In Vancouver it was a lovely day, neither too hot not too cold. As I went to the military 
parade in the Capilano Stadium, I drove through the city. At the Hudson's Bay, Eatons and 
Woodwards, the decorations were superb. The Hudson's Bay had a huge photograph of the 
Queen in every one of their many windows. Eatons had the whole state carriage, life size, drawn 
by eight white horses, life size, high up above the verandah or canopy. It was a magnificent costly 
display. Woodward had the Archbishop in the act of crowning; all life-size and true replica. 

Haul down your Canadian ensign; it is out of fashion. Evidently those of Vancouver prefer 
the greater to the lesser; they want to belong to the Commonwealth and the Empire. Canada is 
alright, so is Vancouver, but we don't want a Canadian flag nor a Vancouver flag. They want the 
Commonwealth flag. It is true there were a few Canadian ensigns fluttering, but all the great 
business firms flew Union Jacks, and at Kitsilano Beach, where I live, it was hard to find a 
Canadian ensign. I suppose the proportion of Union Jacks to ensigns was ten to one on homes, 
and down town buildings. Firms such as the Imperial Oil, Canadian Bakeries, Northern Electric, 
all were Union Jacks and no ensigns. 


Then, at the great military parade at Capilano Stadium, and in the presence of an 
enormous crowd of 10,000 at least, the I.O.D.E. marched past, every woman carrying a great big 
Union Jack, so big that each had to hold up the fly. 

It has been a great day, and now I must leave, for it is growing dark, and the fireworks 
over English Bay about to commence. 

Best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

W.A. McAdam Esq., 
B.C. House 

Adescription of the Great Fire, 13 June 1886, byagirlwho passed through it. 

By Mrs. S.H. Ramage, 1110 West Eighth Avenue, Vancouver, "Princess Anne," daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Edwin Sanders, pioneers, "Before the Fire," who came here in March 1886 — before the railway reached 
Port Moody. Their home was one of the few which escaped the "Great Fire." 

Mrs. Ramage is the lady in whose honour "Princess Street" (now Pender Street East), a street from 
Westminster Avenue (now Main Street) was named. West of Westminster Avenue, it was Dupont Street; 
east of Westminster Avenue, it was "Princess Street," so called because the little daughter of Alderman 
and Mrs. Sanders lived there with her parents, played in the green grass in the gutter and was known as 
"The Princess." She also plucked the posy from the flowers which decorated the locomotive, Canadian 
Pacific Railway, No. 374 (now at Kitsilano Beach) which drew the first passenger train into Vancouver, 23 
May 1887, on the eve of the Golden Jubilee birthday of Queen Victoria, the Good. Mrs. Ramage is the 
sole survivor of the famous "Coffee Brigade" of Vancouver, a group of pioneer women who followed the 
Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade to fires, and supplied them, whilst the men fought fire, with hot coffee. 

Her manuscript is dated 8 March 1948. 



One beautiful Sunday morning, 13*'' June, 1886 [note: the 13*" June 1948 will be a 
Sunday] the waters of Vancouver Harbour were sparkling in the brilliant sunshine. Across Burrard 
Inlet, which, as a harbour is second to none in the world, the mountains stood in all their majestic 
beauty; covered with green forest gathering in the sunshine. 

Our "City" — Vancouver — was young and small; it stood between Westminster Avenue, 
now Main street and Cambie street, the harbour shore on the north, and False Creek on the 
south; all else was the clearing and its stumps, or forest. The City was resting; it was the 
Sabbath. Most of the people were on their way from Church; the Presbyterian Church, which was 
on Cordova street near Westminster Avenue, and after the service was over, many of them 
gathered outside the church to gossip. 

A group of four young men were talking together, and one said "This is a grand day to 
burn those branches and bushes"; another replied "Well, if you do it, we will, too." Two of the 
young men were clearing lands at Granville street; the other two were doing the same thing 
where now stands Victory Square. Calling "so long" to me they went off to get their mid-day meal. 
We went home to get ours and return to Sunday school. 

A brisk wind was blowing, and when we got back to the church the smoke from the 
clearing fires in the west was drifting over the little wooden city. In a very few minutes it became 
so dense that Sunday school was dismissed, and we were told to go home. 


We walked a short distance down Westminster Ave., (Main street) towards our liome, 
one of tliree cottages, formerly 217, 221 and 225 Prior street, but now no more. Just beyond was 
the Bridge Hotel, and the bridge on piles which crossed False Creek in front of what is now the 
Canadian National Railway station and Thornton Park and its flowers. As we walked my brother 
Joe and I looked back, and we saw the corner of our church burst into flames — we started to run, 
and soon we saw our Father coming towards us, and he was anxious about us. 

When we reached home, everyone was carrying water from False Creek which, 
fortunately, was in full tide. Across Westminster Avenue from our Prior street home — where the 
car barns are now — was the Brunette Sawmill Company's lumber yard; they got their lumber on 
Scows from the mill at New Westminster; down the North Arm, and up False Creek, where it was 
unloaded. Everyone was fighting to save the lumber yard; it was saved, and so was our home; 
one of three cottages; the only ones nearest the fire. Down at the Hastings Sawmill on the 
harbour shore at the foot of Dunlevy Ave., a similar contest with fire was going on, but only one of 
the four cottages there was saved. 

About five o'clock that awful day of tribulation, the wind died down; the fire had burned 
itself out, and the smoke was clearing away. Everyone was standing around; amazed at what had 
happened; almost stupefied with the completeness of the disaster; the land lay bare, bare to the 
black earth. Here and there, scattered about, were low piles of smouldering ashes. 

Boards were soon set up in our yard for tables and seats, and after dark a load of food — 
a horse drawn wagon — arrived through the forest of Mount Pleasant from New Westminster; 
some was left at our place, the remainder was taken on to the Hastings Sawmill. People were 
getting hungry, and there was not a crumb of bread in all Vancouver. Nor medical supplies for the 

That night we all slept wherever we could. Seventeen found shelter by sleeping on our 
dining room floor; four or five men felt quite elated and privileged to sleep in our chicken shed, 
and a few odd ones snuggled down wherever we could find a space. 

Monday morning everyone got busy. We gave everyone all a good breakfast; Mother and 
I making gallons and gallons of hot coffee. Anyone who could get a shovel, saw or hammer 
started to work at something, and soon things were "humming." No one asked "How much an 
hour are you going to pay," or mentioned money for labor or anything; all just turned in, without a 
word, to help the other fellow, and by night there was a number of rude shelters standing. Food 
came in from Langley, from New Westminster, from Port Moody, and all through the week, food 
came coming from Victoria, Seattle, Bellingham and Blaine. We all laughed and joked as we 

Vancouver recovered. A few weeks later a fire hall was built, and a number of young men 
formed the Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade. Next some women formed themselves together to 
help the men; they called themselves, or others did, the "Coffee Brigade," and a couple of we girls 
followed along to help; the idea was to have hot coffee for the volunteer firemen when they were 
fighting fire. 

Many a stiff fight they had to prevent clearing and other fires spreading to the city again — 
the people were nervous. 

Then, in 1887, the great railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway, finally reached its western 
goal, Vancouver, on that great day, 23'^'^ May 1887, and the old locomotive from which I begged a 
posy of flowers from its decorations now rest in honor in its lovely setting at Kitsilano Beach; old 
No. 374, wood burner. The people from afar started to come; crowds of them. Work started in 
earnest to clear still more land on which to build homes and green lawns. The "West End," 
between Burrard Street and Stanley Park was tolerable easily cleared as all the big trees had 
long since been logged away to the sawmills, and only the lesser ones and bushes remained. In 
Fairview it was much the same, but Mount Pleasant and Grandview were heavily timbered, and 
much harder to clear. Mayor MacLean, and my father, Edwin Sanders, who was an alderman in 
1887 as well as in 1895, had a trying time to get the city laid out in streets and blocks; money was 


scarce; no one was overloaded with it. Cliief of Police Stewart was fire chief, licence inspector 
and health officer all in one, and Sergeant Haywood, still with us, helped all they could. 

Of the early civic officials besides Sergeant Haywood, of the first City Police, all I can 
think of are the four living members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade. Hugh Campbell lives in 
Fairview, and still has his red fire vest; Fred Upham lives on Georgia St. West; Jack Mateer lives 
on Seventh Ave. West; Herbert Martin was the water boy; his task was to keep drinking water 
handy; hold things or run messages. Of the Coffee Brigade, I fear there are none save myself 

It is but sixty-two years; a very short time. Sixty-two years since all Vancouver was 
standing forest save for a few blocks of scattered dwellings. Today the third, and perhaps soon to 
be the second, largest city in our Dominion, and none more beautiful; where everything is at hand 
to make life enjoyable. Grand old Vancouver. I'm glad I came. 

Mrs. S.H. Ramage 
1110 West 8* Ave., 

Bay. 6039 R. 

March 8'^ 1948. 

Note: Mrs. Ramage died in the spring of 1955. 

Conversation with Ernest Frederick Ringle, pioneer, 1889, of 433 West 21^^ 
Avenue, who came to Vancouver in February 1889, at the City Archives, 10 
September 1948. 

Mr. Ringle brought some old school photos. 

Central School. Tremont Hotel. 

Mr. Ringle: "I came to Vancouver from Kitchener, Ontario, by C.P.R. when I was three years old. My 
Father and Mother were Charles and Eliza Ringle, and we came, together with my elder brother, 
Charles — he is in Nebraska now — who appears in the Central School photo. In the early days we lived on 
Water Street, between Abbott and Carrall Street, back of the Tremont Hotel; Billy Jones run the hotel. I 
went to the Central School; I think Miss Hartney was the first teacher, but the first I recall was Miss 

"After school days, I worked for a time in the Hastings Sawmill; then after that with Fooshee and Foster, 
gunsmiths, and then for the 'O'Neill' Company; I am a tile layer; I have been with them forty years. 

"In 1912, September 21^', at the Lutheran Church I married Miss Helen Schwarz, daughter of Mrs. Emily 
Schwarz, and we have one child, our daughter. Miss Viola, who lives with us. 

"Fatherwent off on a farm at Vernon, and died in 1919, and Father is buried at Vernon. Mother died here 
in Vancouver in 1927, and is buried Mountain View. 

"After we left living on Water Street, we went into the 1200 block Richards Street; then we moved from 
there to Hornby Street, 1300 block, and lived there 26 years; the number was 1364 Hornby, and, after we 
left Hornby Street about 1933, we moved to our present home, 433 West 21^' Avenue." 

Woodward's store. Slab Town. Royal City Planing Mills. "Crazy George." "Texas." 
Logging oxen. S.S. Senator. Hastings Sawmill. Pete Larson. Blackberries. 

"Woodward's store, on Hastings Street, as I first remember it was a frog pond; as 'kids' we used to catch 
them. Then, in the early days, down at the old Royal City Planing Mills, on Carrall Street, on False Creek, 
we used to go down there swimming — no trunks — ^just bare naked; no one would ever come around 
there. We used to call it 'Slab Town.' Slabs from the mill were piled on the mudflat, covered with sawdust, 
and made dry land. Then there was 'Crazy George.' He used to chase us kids — the kids used to tease 
him — but he was harmless. He lived all over; everywhere." 


Carrall Street. R.C.M.P. Andy Linton's float. Moodyville. 

"Texas' was another queer character; he used to whistle down on the docks. Then, they used to load 
logging oxen down at the foot of Carrall Street, by the R.C.M.P. and used to put them on a scow and take 
them up the coast. It was all hand logging and logging oxen before they got the horses. And we used to 
get on the old Senator at Andy Linton's float, and go over to Moodyville picking blueberries. Years after, 
Pete Larson moved over there and built an hotel; you only had to go up the hill half a block and you could 
pick all the blueberries you wanted. The Indians used to come over in canoes and sell blackberries in little 
basket; you could get a great big basket full for about fifty cents; and that was a lot of money in those 
days; And in those days, it was interesting to see these big sailing ships loading big timber at the 
Hastings Sawmill." 

Narrated as I typed. J.S.M. 

Conversation with Thomas William Roberts, of 1147 Trans-Canada Highway, 
Abbottsford, who called at the City Archives, 31 October 1949. 

Roberts Creek. 

Mr. Roberts: "I came here in December 1889 from a place called Redditch" (sic) "on the Midland Railway, 
14 miles from Birmingham, England; came C.P.R. by myself; worked at a place called Crowfoot, west of 
Medicine Hat. I was there in November. I was 22 then as I was born the 24*^ of November, 1867. My 
father's name was Thomas Roberts, and Mother's was Harriet. I shall be 82 on November 24 next. 

"After I got here in 1889, I worked for Mr. M.S. Rose, the plumber, on Abbott Street, for a while. My 
parents, that is. Father, Mother, and also two sisters, came out the next year, 1890. One of my sisters, 
Mrs. Minnie Langley, lives in San Francisco, and the other, Mrs. Alice Steinburner" (sic) "lives in 
Squamish. He, Steinburner, is buried at Roberts Creek. My brother, Frank Roberts, came out afterwards, 
about 1900." 

Andy Linton. Tom Campbell. Robby Mitchell. Roberts Creek. Mark Rose. 

"Well, you see, I wanted a home for my people; we all thought we could find a home away from the town 
most anywhere. Mark Rose found out from the Land Office that there was land up the coast for 
preemption. He was a pretty good sailor and we — that is, M.S. Rose and myself — went up the coast. We 
went up in a clinker-built boat, about thirty feet long — double-ender. We hired the boat from Andy Linton 
at Carrall Street. It had sails. We sailed both ways; first time I was ever in a sailboat. There were other 
settlers up there — Tom Campbell and Robby Mitchell. They had two claims there right next to Roberts 
Creek. Of course, at that time, the creek hadn't any name at all. Johnson Brothers — they surveyed the 
claim for me — and for the other two people who had staked. Mitchell and Campbell lived there for a few 
years. They were fishermen, but where they are now I don't know; none of their descendants are there. I 
don't think they were married. Mitchell and Campbell had staked half a mile — that is, one-quarter of a mile 
each — along the beach to the west of the creek. So I staked half a mile along the beach on the east side 
of the creek, but only half a mile back in place of a mile like the other two. I made application, then got it 
surveyed, and I got my preemption records. I lived there a few years until about 1896 — got my certificate 
for improvement — and finally my crown grant about 1896." 

Major Matthews: Well, did your father and mother and sisters go up there to live? 

Mr. Roberts: "Not my sisters. They worked in town here for Pat Carey at the Brunswick Hotel on Hastings 
Street, where the Rex Theatre is now. About 1897 they started calling it Roberts Creek. Exactly when 
ought to be easy to find out from the Post Office. For a long time we got our mail at Gibson's Landing. 

"I went back to Colorado, and then to the Klondyke in 1901 . When I came back from the north I got 
married. We have five children; all are married — three boys and two girls. Two of them served in the last 

"I helped to build the" (J.M.) "Browning House on the northwest corner of Burrard and Georgia" 
(afterwards Glencoe Lodge.) "There was a man nearby; he was blasting stumps, and he broke the 


circular windows wliicli Browning liad liad brouglit out at a cost of tliirty dollars. The big glass window 
panes were semi-circular and it took a long time to replace them." 

First divine services, Burrard Inlet. 

From the diary of Rev. Ebenezer Robson, as copied by Rev. W. Lashley Hall, White Rock, B.C., 16 
February 1940. 

Sat., Dec. 10, 1864: Got as far as Holmes' Camp, 9 miles from town [i.e., New Westminster] and 
turned in as it was dark and my feet were wet and cold. 

Note: Mr. Robson's field was New Westminster, and surrounding points, such as Langley, Maple Ridge, 
Yale, Chilliwack, etc. A marginal note tells that he was travelling on foot. 

Sun., Dec. 11: Preached at Barber's Camp, having walked over from Holmes' Camp, starting at 
daylight in company with Pyke. At breakfast had Kilgour, brother of Rev. J. Kilgour, on one hand, 
and Barber, cousin of two reverends and son of a local preacher, on the other. Had 24 hearers, 
all in camp except four. [Preaciied at Holmes' and Nicliolson's on way bacl<.] In town to about 38 
.... tired, as there was snow on the ground and many logs to cross. 

Note: correction added later by Mr. Robson says: "See '64, Dec. 11*, for service at Barber's Camp, which 
was within few rods of Inlet where Hastings now is." Hastings, Burrard Inlet. 

Mon. June 18, 1865: Rode out to Burrard Inlet and crossing over in a canoe preached to 15 
persons at Moody and Co.'s mills after supper; good attention and invitation to come again. Rode 
back after dark, arriving home about 10 p.m. This was the first sermon on the Inlet. 

Note: a marginal note tells that he was travelling by horse and canoe. 

Sun., July 9: In the afternoon rode to Burrard Inlet and preached at Moody and Co.'s mills. Capt. 
Howard of the barque "Metropolis" and some others from his ship were present. Gave them tracts 
after service, as to a camp of men by the way who were repairing the road. Travelling 24 miles. 

Sun., July 30: Rough time going to Stamp's mill. A large tree across the road. Had hard time 
getting the horse around it. Horse went down on his head while trotting, rolled over and gave me 
a bruising in the dirt; scraped a large batch of skin from his own forehead. Very strong wind on 
the Inlet, and only one Indian with small canoe. Spray over our heads; got quite wet; worked hard 
an hour and a half in making three miles. Only 6 of the 14 men attended. Sailed back to Scott's 
road. Horse came better home. 

Sun., Aug. 13: Only 5 at Moody's mill but 3 of whom belong to the mill. The blacksmith 
hammering away during service. Was tired at night. 

Note: Mr. Robson made his first visit to Coal Harbour on Saturday, 30 December 1865. 

Wed., July 30, 1890: Arose shortly after 5 A.M. and went down to Hastings Mill, where I took 
breakfast with the hands in the cookhouse where I preached the first sermon within the present 
townsite just 30 years ago. 

Note: the above entry was incorrect as to the length of time since Mr. Robson's first sermon in the 
townsite. See entries for 1 1 December 1 864 and 1 9 June 1 865. When this entry of July 1 890 was made, 
Mr. Robson was serving his third pastoral term in New Westminster. 


[Letter TO Colonel Rorison.] 

6'^ April, 1949. 

My dear Colonel Rorison: 

Our 63'^'^ birthday as a city. 

Whose servant I am I do not know; my hope only is to be a good one. There are those 
who regard me as a city employee, and city employees are not supposed to express their 
opinions on civic matters; indeed there is a very strict rule in the City Hall against it. But I do not 
intend to allow my official status, whatever it may be, to interfere with my civic rights as an 
ordinary citizen, so I am going to express my opinion. 

I did not hear all which went on last night in the No. 1 Committee Room, City Hall, but I 
sensed a principal feature; that of amity and graciousness, and I was glad. My deep regret is that 
my dear late wife cannot learn that that estimable state has, seemingly, and undoubtedly, 
replaced the horrors to which she and I were subjected last summer. As we drove home, Mr. 
Twiss told me that Mr. Templeton has assumed the duties you undertook last year. Of this I am 
glad, whilst sorry you have given them up. Time passes, the old order changeth, and perhaps it is 
well that Mr. Templeton has assumed what he has; he is a man for whom I have much esteem; 
who has suffered much sorrow with much fortitude. 

Your term of office was a most arduous one; full of horrid turmoil, but, you have left it in 
peace once more; we are at rest again. I no longer dread archival meetings as a pest; to be 
avoided as a plague. Some senseless thoughtless things have been done; their only value is that 
they have taught that some things can not be done, and it is well that we should learn what things 
are unwise and what is not; by such means we progress. 

But, the main object of this note is to thank you, and, I think I could say, in the name of all 
of Vancouver, for your interest, wisdom, help, attendance at meetings, and all else you can think 
of. To allow you to step out of the office as President without a word would be gross ingratitude, 
so, with that, I will grasp your hand, my old friend, and say "Thank you." 

My deep respects to Mrs. Rorison, 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Colonel Rorison, O.B.E. 


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Item # EarlyVan_v7_063 


[photo annotation:] 

"Brickmaker's Claim," 1863. Royal Engineer survey, March 1863 "Heavily timbered land; very swampy in 
places." District Lot 185. All west of Burrard street to "Government Reserve," i.e., Stanley Park. This 
scene was in Stanley Park, but it gives an idea of the appearance of downtown Vancouver in 1885 when 
L.A. Hamilton surveyed the primeval forest into streets and named them. Loggers, at first, felled those 
trees only which were about sixty feet to the first branch. The smaller ones made spars for sailing ships. 

City Archives. J.S.M. 

Royal Engineers Survey, 1863. 

Burrard Inlet and False Creek. 

In 1933 an old flexible cover book lay on the desk of the Land Registrar, Court House, Vancouver. Major 
Matthews asked permission to photostat its 30 pages and front and back cover. The paper was frail; the 
ink faded with age; some of the reproductions were scarcely legible. In 1954 Major Matthews had white 
photostat prints made from the inferior black negatives, and then, with a fine pen and microscope, traced 
black India ink over all lines and figures. This is the finished work. The old book was afterwards sent by 
the Land Registrar to John Hosie, Provincial Archivist, Victoria. 

In 1859 H.M.S. Plumper, surveying ship, charted the waters of Burrard Inlet, and made the first coast line 
diagram showing the shape of Vancouver Harbour. Land laws were introduced in 1860, and the 
preemption of land began. See District Lot 181, 182, 183 and 184. 

In October 1862, John Morton preempted D.L. 185, our "West End." Robert Burnaby, preemptor of D.L. 
181, see page 9, wrote Morton complaining that Morton had encroached upon his preemption. Morton 
showed the letter to Judge Begbie, who advised Morton to carry on. Colonel Moody's letter, 26 January 
1863, shown herein, instructing survey of Burrard Inlet, and report on "occupations recently made by any 
parties" may have been inspired by both Morton and Burnaby, that is, the "Brickmaker's Claim," i.e., D.L. 
185, and the exact location of Morton's cabin is shown. See page 15. 

The survey was conducted, probably, with the aid of a boat. Measurements appear to have been taken at 
low tide, with the chain men walking on sand, mud and rocks; the shores were thickly strewn with 
boulders, large and small. The instruments are said to have been more cumbersome than modern 
instruments. Quill pens were used for writing and drawing. 

Jericho appears as "Naval Reserve," page 3; Stanley Park as "Military Reserve," page 21; Capilano as 
"Reserve," pages 5 and 6; and the area between Heatley Avenue and Burrard Street is shown as "Naval 
Reserve." D.L. 196, Heatley Avenue to Carrall Street, later known as the "85 acres," is not shown; it was 
taken, afterwards, from the "Naval Reserve." The distance at Carrall Street, afterwards the eastern 
boundary of Granville Townsite, from the inlet to the creek, was of no interest to the survey party, see 
page 13. Coal, or Deadman's Island, page 19, was not named. 

The "Indian house," page 22, a little east of Prospect Point, was the home of Chief Khaht-sah-la-no, i.e., 
Kitsilano. Homulchesun village appears as "Indian village," near mouth of "large river," i.e., Capilano, 
page 6. An unexplained square, indicating a habitation, page 23, is shown at Ferguson Point; it may have 
been a preemptor's hut, a R.E. survey camp, or a cedar shake shelter of Squamish. Siwash Rock, page 
23, is marked as "large rock about 30 feet high." 

J.S. Matthews 

City Archives, City Hall, 
Vancouver, Canada 
16 July 1954 

Note: a compilation subsequently bound into book form. 



Conversation, over the phone, with Fred T. Salsbury, son of A.E. Salsbury, first 
C.P.R. Treasurer in Vancouver, 2993 West 33"° Avenue, 22 March 1950. 

Wigwam Inn. Indian River. Charles Woodward. Smith and Doctor. Sholto Smith. Fred T. 

"I have just been looking over some old papers. Smith and Doctor were the architects of Wigwam Inn, 
Indian River. I don't know what became of Doctor, but Smith — Sholto Smith — was the son-in-law of 
Charles Woodward of the Department Store. Smith died in Australia. Mrs. Sholto Smith deserted him in 
Calgary, and he divorced her for desertion. No adultery, or anything of that sort; she just picked up and 
left him; he divorced her for desertion. How that was done I don't know, but it was for desertion, not 
adultery. He married again, and died in Australia." 

"Hastings Literary Institute." 

Genesis of "Vancouver Reading Room" and "Vancouver Public Library." 

Copy of letter from Calvert Simson, Esq., third storekeeper of the Hastings Sawmill. Memory tells me he 
came to the mill in 1884. J.S.M. 

1890 Barclay St. 
April 23/45 

Major Matthews 

I got after Mrs McKelvie to have the Hastings Institute book I gave her & which she 
loaned to the Native Daughters, given to you for safe keeping, I understand you are to have 

Have been trying to get a few particulars of this first library. In Howay's "Early Shipping 
on Burrard Inlet" he says the B.C. & V.l. Mill (Stamp's) was sold by auction, Feb. 23 1870 to the 
Heatley interests, and on Aug. 1870 the name was change to Hastings Saw Mill Co. 

The first trace I have of Institute is an item charged by the H.S.M. Co. in the account of 
Jeremiah (Jerry) Rogers, Jan 1^' 1871, of 4 months sub to Institute $2.00, dues 50c a month, this 
would pay for Sept. Oct. Nov. and Dec. 1870. There is also on Jan 31^' 1870 sub 50c and so on 
each month till Oct 1872. From this is would be safe to say that the Institute was started Sept 
1 870, or a month after August when the name of the mill was changed. I also have a trace of a 
C.B. Sweney, who I think was the mill foreman, paying dues of 50c a month part in 1 871 , and up 
to Nov. 19*1872. 

G. Pattison, shingle maker, who made hand made shingles for $2.75 per M paid subs 
Jan to May 1874 of 1 dollar a month so evidently the fees were raised from the original 50c. 

I cannot say how long this institute was operated. I do not think it was running when I 
started with the mill Co. in 1 884. I am still waiting for a copy of your last photo of the old building 
showing this institute say one about 8x10 dark finish. 

Hope this information may be of use to get you busy & find out when it closed. 

C Simson 


Conversation, on Vancouver and "Gastown," with Calvert Simson, 1870 Barclay 
Street, former storekeeper, Hastings Sawmill, who dropped in to the City 
Archives THIS morning for a brief visit, 28 November 1945. 

Vancouver still "Gastown." Granville, B.I. Lanterns. 

Major Matthews: What did you do for light at night in those days, Mr. Simson? 

Mr. Simson: "When we went out at night we took a lantern. When we went out visiting we took the lantern 
with us as part of our visiting paraphernalia. So that we could not get lost in the bushes coming back 
again. But, of course," said Mr. Simson, jocularly, "there were so many 'shining lights' in Gastown in those 
days that really the lantern illumination was not actually necessary." 

Mr. Simson, continuing: "Vancouver has not changed any — it is still 'Gastown.' It is still a talking 
community — lots of 'hot air' rising up." 

Hastings Institute. 

22"'' Dec. 1947 


Dear Mr. Simson: 

I have just been making — as my own typist at home in the evening — several copies of 
your letter to me on this subject, April 23'^'^ 1945; you had been looking up some old book, and 
give, in your letter, certain library fees charged Jerry Rogers, C.B. Sweney and others. Sweney's 
daughter was in to see me last summer; very rich woman in California. 

In the "B.C. Historical Quarterly" just received there is an item about libraries; that on 
page 183 about the Burrard Inlet libraries is copied from Howay's article in the same quarterly in 
1937; both of which are sketchy, and, in my opinion, all wrong. 

The "Hastings Institute" was so named as a compliment to Admiral Hastings in or before 
March 1869; before that it was the "London Institute." But, in or on Jan. 7* 1869, a book was 
given "To the Library of the British Columbia Mill Co." In 1887, a pile of books lay on the 
cookhouse table. Mr. Alexander offered them to Father Clinton, and he, with Carter-Cotton and 
H.P. McCraney, took them and formed the Vancouver Reading Room on Cordova St. 

"The Mechanics Institute," "Moodyville," was never the "Hastings Institute." It was 
opened, so [they] say, Jan. 23'^'' 1869, though there have been organisation meetings in late 
1868. I have never heard that any of its books reached our Public Library, but I do know that 
when they were clearing the site of the old Moodyville Mill about 1905, Mrs. Harris saved two 
books from a huge pile they were burning up to get rid of them. 

Did I ever give you the photo you wanted? 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Calvert Simson Esq., 
1890 Barclay St. 



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Item # EarlyVan_v7_064 


[photo annotation:] 

By day, steer for the smoke; by night, head for the flame. Hastings Sawmill fire. 

For half a century, the Hastings Sawmill slab and sawdust burner fire was the beacon which guided 
mariners on a safe course through the First Narrows. From about 1870 to about 1890 it was the only 
harbour light, and always burning. 

City Archives. J.S.M. 

When sawmills started on Burrard Inlet, circa 1870, forest covered the land; at high tide the waters lapped 
the lower branches. The abundance of logs obtainable from our Point Grey, West End, West Vancouver 
and North Arm, Burrard Inlet was so great that huge ones only were logged. The sailing ships loaded vast 
quantities of splendid lumber. Bark, slabs and sawdust was dropped in the sea, as a useless nuisance, 
and was carried back and forth by the tides, obstructing navigation. Burning was adopted, and the fires 
never went out. It was regrettable but unavoidable. For almost fifty years the smoke blew harmlessly 
away. Increasing cost of coal and cordwood and greater population ultimately permitted its economical 
use for heating homes, and a device for stoking sawdust was invented. S.G.N. 875. P. St Pk 168 J.S.M. 

The Hastings Sawmill Store 

by Calvert Simson, Storekeeper. 

Stamps Mill in 1865. Changed to Hastings Sawmill Company in 1870. 

The Sawmill was started by the B.C. and Vancouver Island S.L. & Saw Mill Company, commonly 
known as Stamps Mill, in 1 865, but was not running till 1 867 owing to reason part of the mill 
machinery was not shipped on the bark Kent from Glasgow, Scotland, which bark arrived in 
Burrard Inlet, December 20'^ 1865. Captain Stamp ran the mill to the end of 1869, getting into 
financial difficulties the mill was offered for sale on a judgment summons, and finally sold on 
February 23'^'' 1870, to the agent of Heatley and Company of London, England, and the name 
was changed in August 1870 to Hastings Sawmill Company. It is usual for a company to start a 
store to supply the men with tobacco, etc., during construction. Should say the store was started, 
that is, the store proper, about 1867 or 1868, though there was a supply building previous to the 
store. Mr. R.H. Alexander, later manager, on arrival on Burrard Inlet in 1870 to work for the 
Hastings Sawmill, was first employed as storekeeper, so the store was, in 1870, in full operation. 

Granville Post Office in 1872. 

Then Mr. Loat, the mill head accountant, left April 1^' 1872, and Mr. Alexander took his place in 
the office. The Post Office in the store, under the name of Granville, was started in 1 872. Henry 
Harvey was appointed Postmaster and Storekeeper about 1872, and remained until September 

Hastings Sawmill Store. Merchandise carried. 

Now, about the class of goods carried at the store. A general line of groceries, tobacco, cigars, 
pipes, men's suits at first brought out from England with the pants cut so high one hardly needed 
a vest, overalls, underwear made of flannel all wool, branded Mission, in blue and red colour, the 
red in big demand as a supposed cure for rheumatism, these were made in Victoria; also a fleecy 
cotton underwear with a nap, shirts, socks and a line of men's rough work shoes, both laced and 
elastic sides, made in Victoria; also some men's fine boots, men's hats and caps, some ladies' 
wool piece goods, Indian shawls, cotton prints, grey and white cotton; flannel and odds and ends 
of women's wear, blankets (Hudson's Bay point and cheaper makes), in fact a fair line of every- 
day dry goods and men's wear, mostly bought from Victoria wholesale merchants. 

Patent medicines. 

A line of patent medicines was carried, such as Thomas Electric Oil, Painkiller, Peruna, Pains 
Celery Compound. These two latter, being seventy-five per cent alcohol, were in much demand in 
the camps after a big drunk. Jamaica ginger was not allowed to be sold to Indians as Government 


claimed they used it to make liquor; St. Jacob's Oil, Wizard Oil, scented hair oil, red rouge for 
Indian face colouring, ammonia 880, liniments, cough mixtures, and other patents too numerous 
to mention. These patents were brought from Victoria wholesale druggists. In passing, the 
storekeeper was called on to give first aid in any minor mill accidents. 

Crockery. Hardware. 

A line of tinware was bought from a New Westminster tinsmith, English heavy, white unbreakable 
crockery for camp use; a line of hardware such as rope, axes, single and double bit, saws, nails, 
files, axe handles, locks, hinges, etc., oxbows, ox shoes, hickory goad sticks for the bull puncher 
who was very particular as to the quality. A yoke — two — oxen in 1871 cost two hundred dollars. 

Groceries. Lanterns. Lighting system. 

Now, as regards groceries. The goods came mostly from Victoria, Portland and San Francisco. 
Most of the ships loading lumber were chartered in San Francisco by Dickson DeWolf and 
Company, Heatley's agent there. On the charter being arranged we would receive a wire asking 
what supplies we needed. We always had a standing order for fifty tons of crushed barley for 
oxen. An order sent November 19**^, 1872, called for two gross of Preston and Merrils Yeast 
Powder, six cases lard, five barrels Extra Golden syrup, ten and five gallon kegs Golden Syrup, 
fifteen kegs of nails, fifty mats Yellow Manila Sugar. An order of goods received September 3'^'', 
1883, consisted of three hundred sacks flour, four hundred and fifty-two sacks of ground barley, 
twenty-five sacks wheat (sold for chicken feed); twenty-five sacks beans, five bales salt, ten kegs 
pickles, twenty boxes dried apples, and six nests of trunks. Other orders included canned fruit. 
Eagle Brand condensed milk, butter in rolls in brine; canned meats including pigs' feet, china tea 
in ten pound boxes branded M & M; Alaska dried codfish in one hundred pound bundles, lanterns 
with double globes (no cold blast lanterns in those days). At night nearly everyone carried one, 
the lighting system in Granville being about four posts with a glass-in coal oil lamp on top of a 
pole, and, on Water street between Carrall and Abbott, in front of the Deighton, Sunnyside, 
Granville and Gold Hotels. 

Produce. Canned Salmon. Dried fruit. Vegetables. Hogs, bacon, pork. Matches. 

When there were no ships from Frisco, the groceries were brought from the Victoria merchants. 
The Moodyville Saw Mill got their groceries by lumber ships from Frisco, too. Matches were the 
sulphur smelly kind put up in blocks in five gallon coal oil tins. Matches were made in Victoria. 
Canned sockeye salmon put up in one pound tall tins; the bellies salted were sold in kits, half 
barrels and barrels; only the bellies used — the other part thrown away. No other species of 
salmon were canned. A lot of corned beef and pork in barrels was sent to the logging camps; also 
green salt sides of bacon to make pork and beans. Fresh meat was sent to the camps only when 
a tug went after a boom of logs. Fresh pork was plentiful as each camp usually had a lot of hogs 
feeding on the swill. Ham and eggs were only supplied at Easter. No fresh fruit was used; rhubarb 
in season, dried apples and prunes were the standbys. Dried apple pie went by the name of "stick 
pie" in the camps. Vegetables, as carrots, beets, turnips, cabbage and potatoes were in plentiful 
supply. You will see that the logger was not pampered, as now, with grapefruit, oranges, all the 
eggs and bacon he can eat, etc. etc. In Granville fresh eggs at Christmas were often a dollar a 
dozen. A sloop used to come over from the Sound with eggs and green apples at this time, and 
go back with a load of lumber. Ham was dearer than bacon, and much fatter. They had not begun 
to raise the long lean bacon hog as now. Venison was plentiful in season with no restrictions as to 
sale; also wild ducks. A man named Wragg used to sell venison as low as five cents a pound. 
The Indians used to shoot for deer for the hide, and let the carcass rot. I, as agent for Jack 
Green, a trader who was murdered on Savary Island, used to sell dried deer skins to a buyer 
named Marcus Baldy for twenty-eight cents a pound, who exported them to the United States 
where they were tanned and made into lace leather for belting. 

PoTLATCH. American gold pieces. British Columbia currency. 

It might be of interest that the writer took part in a potlatch given by the Indian Chief of the 
rancherie adjoining the saw mill. It was held in a long rambling building with no chimney; only 
shingles were left off the roof above the fireplace, in the middle of the room, to let the smoke out. 


The mill store supplied the give-away gifts which consisted of boxes of ship cabin pilot bread 
(hardtack to a sailor); a big quantity of forty-nine pound sacks of flour, bales of small white 
blankets — all paid for with American $20 gold pieces. The British Columbia currency in those 
days was 20, 10, 5 and 2 and one half dollar gold, and 50, 25 and 10 cent silver coins. Bank 
notes were not in common use, and were not favored by the Indians, who did not understand the 
different values of the notes. These potlatches were finally stopped by the government, as they 
beggared the Chiefs who tried to out-do each other. 

Express delivery. Empresses. 

The store did a big business with the camp settlers up the coast Indians and the mill men, in fact, 
kept an express to deliver to town customers. Sugar, hams and some American canned goods 
were kept in Customs bond at end of wharf, and used to be supplied in bond to the C.P.R. 
"Empresses." This privilege was denied the sailing ships, but their trade was small as Victoria 
ship chandlers sent runners aboard at Royal Roads, at which place most vessels called for 

Post Office money orders. Holidays. Post Office moved 1 February 1886. John Rooney. 

The Post Office issued money orders, and as there was no bank in early days, the people used 
money orders to pay their outside accounts. The mill help was paid so much a month and board; 
the single men eating in the cook house. The married men, who boarded themselves, received 
$10.00 a month in lieu of board. Wages were low; hours were eleven and a half hours a day, but 
all there was to do was work, eat and sleep. Sundays off and three holidays a year — New Year's 
Day, Christmas, and July first, and four bars in Granville to cater to the thirsty. The Post Office 
was moved from the Hastings Saw Mill to Vancouver, February 1^' 1886, to the rear end of a 
store on Carrall street. It was in charge of Mr. John Rooney. 

Steam schooners. Hard wheat flour. Soft American flour. 

The writer of these ramblings left mill store in 1 891 . Forgot to mention that freight from Victoria 
prior to 1 885 was brought by steam schooners, about twice a month service. The completion of 
the Canadian Pacific Railway changed the source of most supplies from the United States to the 
prairies and eastern Canada. People had to get used to making bread out of hard wheat flour 
after using the soft American flour, as hard took so much more water. Besides, the Indians used 
the empty sacks for underwear, and they complained that the jute sacks of Manitoba were not so 
comfortable next to the skin as the cotton American sacks. Later the Manitoba flour was put up in 
cotton sacks. 

Chinook JARGON. 

By the way, the Chinook jargon was as much used in early days as English. 

Last Postmaster. 

C. Simson, Hastings Saw Mill Storekeeper, and the last Granville Post Master. 

Sept. 15'N950 

Further ramblings about the old Hastings Sawmill Store. 

The store front entrance faced the water and the wharf had a slip for small boats. The store had a 
counter each side. On the counter on the left entering the door was a small desk for use issuing 
money orders, etc.; one of the panes was removed and replaced with a board opening; an open 
slot, for drop letters and papers. When the mail arrived, the postage stamps were cancelled with 
the Granville dated stamp. There was usually quite a few people in the store waiting for the mail, 
and, knowing nearly everyone, their letters were handed to them; the others put in a rack of 
lettered cigar boxes. The Postmaster had many enquiries from people trying to locate folks who 
had neglected writing home, and thus got to know the home towns of loggers, who mostly came 
from the State of Maine, Quebec, and the Maritimes. 


The store was heated with an oil drum placed flat on sand and bricks; had a hole in the top for the 
stove pipes, and a hinged door for firing with mill wood, which was always in liberal supply. It was 
a crude though cheap and efficient home made heating system. 

Royal City Planing Mill Company. 

This went on until 1 890 when the Royal City Mills bought the Hastings Sawmill mill property. One 
day, Mr. Beecherof the Royal City Planing Mill Company, walked into the store and said, "Do I 
understand the men shake dice for cigars and other things?" The reply was "Yes." He said it was 
a form of gambling and objected to it. I said "All right. It will be stopped," and took the dice home 
with me, and still have them. It is quite a relic; the case is battered and the dice yellow with their 
eighty year age. 

23 September 1950: 

I forgot to mention in previous sheet that the clothing had a separate room in the store; also at 
back of store was a stairway leading to the upper floor. When the new store was built alongside 
the old one, the stairway was moved to the front of the old store. During the fire of 1 886, a woman 
and a boy who had sought shelter in a water well to escape the flames, were brought to the store. 
The woman was badly burned; she was taken to a spare room in one of the mill cottages; a 
mattress was provided; their burns covered with lint soaked in carbolated oil from the store. Poor 
thing, she did not recover, and made one more to the victims of the Great Fire. On the day of the 
Fire people were clamouring for food, so the store was opened, and not closed night or day for 
two or three days. All the bread and canned meats were soon cleared out. There were lots of 
soda crackers, hardtack, and cheese. One man told the writer he never wanted to see another 
cracker as long as he lived. The rats were so bad around the store that the small addition you see 
in the picture I am giving you had to be tinned to stop them from destroying flour we had stored in 
the addition. 

C. Simson. 

Conversations with Khahtsahlano, page 287. 

Conversation with Mr. Calvert Simson, 1890 Barclay Street, former storekeeper, Hastings Sawmill, from 
about 1884 to 1891, who kindly called at the City Archives, and remained to talk, 14 October 1952. 


Mr. Simson said: "I was at the last potlatch on the site of Vancouver, down at the Hastings Sawmill, just 
east of it. They had a huge shed, made of cedar slabs, and a great big fire in the middle of it, and they 
pushed away a few of the boards in the roof to let the smoke out, but" (significantly) "there was lots of 
smoke left. I stayed a little while but I could not stand the smoke; the smoke got in my eyes." 

Major Matthews: Mr. Simson, was that building an old one made of split cedar slabs, or was it just a new 
one of sawn boards? 

D.L. 196. 

Mr. Simson: "It was old. There long before the Hastings Sawmill. There was a lot of Squamish buildings 
right on the foreshore where they used to haul up their canoes. It was on land adjoining the sawmill 
property; just east of it — on the beach — ^just past the log chute at the sawmill. It may have had a few sawn 
boards in it, I don't know, but it was old. That was in 1 884. I rather think the rancherie must have been put 
up to suit the Indians working in the mill; I don't know. You could tell the exact location of it, first, because 
it was on the shore, and secondly, because it was on the eastern boundary of D.L. 1 96. The potlatch 
lasted several hours. They gave me a stick to beat with on the boards." 

See-ahm, see-ahm: a chant. 

"They started with a chant, see-ahm, see-ahm, see-aaaahm. At first in a low tone, and slowly, then faster 
and faster, until they got into a high tone pitch, and worked themselves into a frenzy. See-ahm, see-ahm, 
see-ahm, faster and faster and higher and higher in tone. One man pretended it was shooting a deer. He 
stooped down, and pretended he was pointing his rifle — taking a bead on — a deer. They were all seated 


around a big long building. I don't recall how long, or how the light got in. Some of it came from the fire in 
the middle." 

Note by J.S.M.: This was the Indian village which Lady Dufferin, wife of His Excellency the Governor 
General — the first one to visit Burrard Inlet — 1876, wished to visit after the Vice-Regal party had been 
welcomed formally on the Hastings Sawmill store wharf. She was escorted up a narrow sinuous trail 
through the stumps, wide enough for one person to pass along, and met an old Indian woman, bent and 
mostly skin and bones, known locally as "The Virgin Mary." To the chagrin of the local elite. Lady Dufferin 
shook hands with her. 

Royal City Planing Mills. Hastings Sawmill Co. B.C. Mills, Timber and Trading Co. 

"They formed the Royal City Planing Mills and took over the Hastings Sawmill, and then the B.C. Mills, 
Timber and Trading Co. was formed. John Hendry had no plans; he just said, 'Put one machine here, and 
put that other machine there.' They got into financial trouble. Sweeny, manager of the Bank of Montreal, 
was one of the directors. They wanted to get rid of R.H. Alexander, but Mr. Sweeny said "No" and "So 
long as you have an overdraft Alexander must remain on the board"; he had confidence in Alexander. If it 
had not been for Sweeny the mill would have collapsed." 

Calvert Simson. 

"I came here in 1884. I left London in November 1883, and reached Victoria in May 1884. I was in Port 
Chalmers, near Dunedin, New Zealand. Then I reached San Francisco on the ship Zambesi, and went 
down the States to Arizona and all around, and then up to Bend, Oregon, and Walla Walla, Washington. 
The way I know, roughly, the dates is that I had a draft for seventy pounds, £70, and I cashed ten pounds, 
£10, in Portland, Oregon, and have the date. I was up the Columbia River, and recall watching them 
make the loggers take off their boots, and they gave them slippers. The loggers' boots had iron spikes in 
them, and that ruined the decks. After I reached Victoria in May 1884, I went over to New Westminster, 
and got a job as night watchman at one dollar a day. The chief night watchman was also a cook, and he 
used to cook salmon, with all the trimmings, parsley sauce and so on, for our midnight meal. In England 
we got salmon once a year, and then at two and six a pound, but here the mill hands were fed on it, and 
that surprised me. I worked for the Dominion Sawmill." 

Ben Wilson, 1884. Granville, B.I., 1884. Joseph Mannion. 

"Then I got a job with Ben Wilson, storekeeper on the beach, now Water Street, at Granville, now 
Vancouver. I got sixty dollars a month and found. I stayed at Joe Mannion's Granville Hotel, and Ben 
Wilson paid Mannion ten dollars a month for my board and room, and the hotel took it out in groceries." 

HASTINGS Sawmill storekeeper. 

"Then I went over to the Hastings Sawmill as storekeeper, and continued as such until 1 891 . But I never 
did find out the exact date of my arrival at New Westminster." 

Conversation with Mr. Calvert Simson, pioneer, former storekeeper at the 
Hastings Sawmill, Vancouver, who called this afternoon at the City Archives, 9 
November 1953. 

Mr. Simson came to Burrard Inlet about 1884 — sixty-nine years ago — and is now showing signs of 
becoming frail; he must be nearing ninety. 

Capt. Geo. Marchant. S.S. Beaver. 

Major Matthews: Mr. Simson, did you know Captain Marchant of the Beavei^ What sort of a man was he? 

Mr. Simson: "An old drunk. They were all drunk the night the Beauerwent on the rocks. He used to live at 
the City Hotel; you know the City Hotel down on Powell Street; third or fourth rate place for those who 
fitted it. He was drunk most of the time." 

Major Matthews: Well, what was the end of it? 

Mr. Simson: "His friends supported him." 


Note: W.H. Evans, who was an engineer on the Beaver at the time of her wrecl< — see Early Vancouver, 
Matthews, Vol. 6 — contradicts Capt. Marchant's declaration before the United States consul that the crew 
slept on board the night of the wreck. He says he and some others got off, waded ashore, walked through 
the Park, and were soon back at the Sunnyside Hotel barroom, which they had left when the Beaver 
started out on her voyage to Thurlow Island. The bartender was surprised to see them back so quickly 
after saying good bye and promising to call in a week. 

Mr. Evans told me that it was not the current which was responsible for the wreck — not solely. After they 
had left the dock it was found they were short of stock on whisky and beer, or both, and the crew 
persuaded Captain Marchant to go back for a stock. He could not turn around in the Narrows, so waited 
until he got beyond Prospect Point, and then turned around, and cut his turn too close. 

Extract from Capt. John T. Walbran's B.C. Coast Names, page 469. 

STAMP HARBOR, Alberni canal, Barkley Sound. 

After Captain Edward Stamp of the British Mercantile marine, who noticed the fine spar timber of 
Puget sound when loading in his vessel in 1 857 a cargo of lumber for Australia, and described it 
to shipbuilders and contractors in England on his return there in the autumn of that year, but the 
high freight to Europe precluded shipments. The gold discoveries in the colony of British 
Columbia in 1858 induced him to leave the sea and settle in Victoria, where he started a 
commission business as E. Stamp and Company. In 1859 the imminence of the American Civil 
War and the probability of the export of spars from the southern states being discontinued, drew 
the attention of two London firms, Thomas Bilbe & Company and James Thomas & Company, to 
the north-west coast of America as an alternative source of supply for spars they had contracted 
to deliver in Europe. Knowing Captain Stamp, these firms employed him as their agent on the 
coast to ship spars, and gave him an interest in the contracts. Puget sound was the chief place of 
supply. {Colonist, 5 April 1860.) Disputes having arisen between the parties, principally owing to 
the construction of a large sawmill at Alberni, built in 1 860, Captain Stamp retired from the 
concern in 1862 and ceased to do business in Victoria. Settling in Burrard Inlet, he started and 
carried on there a large sawmill which he disposed of in 1 868. Member for some time of the 
Legislative Council of British Columbia for the district of Lillooet. Retired to England, 1 869. 
{Colonist, 4 January and 17 June 1869.) Died in London. Named by Captain Richards, H.M. 
surveying vessel Hecate, 1861. 


[Letter from Edward Stamp to W.G.A. Young.] 

Victoria, V.I., 
18* June, 1863. 

W.G.A. Young, Esq. 


I tal<e leave to state tliat in Marcli last I employed a party of six men to prospect the 
inside of this Island and the Coast of British Columbia, for spar timber and a sawmill site; they 
have just returned and report a suitable locality at Port Neville, British Columbia. 

As I have been at considerable expense in discovering this timber, I respectfully beg to 
request that His Excellency the Governor (by any means that he may have in his power) will grant 
to myself the exclusive right of cutting timber at Port Neville; I make this request that others may 
not pre-empt the land at that place in order to oblige me to purchase the timber from them. 

My object is to establish a spar cutting place at Port Neville as soon as possible, and 
should the quantity of timber there (on further inspection) warrant such an outlay, also a sawmill; 
my agent J. Rogers has already pre-empted a piece of land at Port Neville. 

I herewith enclose a tracing of the locality; the timbered land I wish to exclude from pre- 
emption is contained between the water and the lines marked with red ink. 

I have the honor to be. Sir, 

Your Obedient servant, 


Note: At Douglas' request. Moody declared it government reserve. G.G. 

[Letter from Edward Stamp to A.N. Birch.] 

New Westminster, 

17* May, 1865. 

I now take leave to state for the information of the Governor that I have found a suitable 
site on the Reserve just within the 1^' Narrows, Burrard Inlet, on which I wish to build the sawmill, 
and the difficulty I apprehended in getting a supply of fresh water for the boilers is removed by the 
discovery of a lake on the same reserve of sufficient capacity to supply our wants. 

After a careful examination I am now satisfied that sufficient timber exists on Eraser's 
River, Burrard's Inlet, Howe Sound and the adjoining coast to justify me in erecting a costly 
sawmill in that locality. I only now wait the government to grant me such concessions as are 
absolutely necessary to enable the company I represent to proceed with their undertaking. 

I have already verbally, and in writing, explained to you the nature of our requirements. I 
now again lay before you our wants in this respect and shall be much obliged by an early reply in 
order that I may proceed with the works. 

1^'. That Burrard Inlet may be declared a Port of Entry. I expect to load a cargo of 
spars there in a few days. 

2"^^. That we shall be allowed to purchase at the customary price of $1 .00 per acre, 
one hundred acres of land on the Reserve adjoining the Sawmill site and on which the mill would 
be built. 


3'^'^. That we shall be allowed to select as much timbered land as necessary for the 
use of the Sawmill (say about 15,000 acres) on Fraser's River, Burrard's Inlet, Howe Sound and 
the adjoining coast, including about 1 ,000 acres of spar timbered land at Port Neville, and that 
such land may be held by the company on lease of 21 years at one cent per acre. 

4*^. That we shall be allowed to cut timber on reserves at Burrard's Inlet. 

5*^. That we shall be allowed to purchase at the usual price 1 ,200 acres of land (if it 
can be found) suitable for feeding our cattle when from hard work they require rest. 

6*^. That we shall have the right of way for fresh water from the lake on the Reserve 
to the sawmill. 

7**^. That all iron and steel imported for the purpose of being manufactured into 
machinery at our own workshop; belts, leather for belts and other material for the bonafide use of 
the sawmill, and intended to form part of the machinery shall be admitted free. 

I have had men employed prospecting for timber for the last six weeks; it takes a long 
time to make a thorough examination for this purpose. I again beg to request that pre-emption on 
timbered land on Burrard Inlet and the North Arm of Fraser's River may not be allowed until we 
have had reasonable time to make a further examination. 

I am Sir, 

Your humble obedient servant, 


Hon. A.N. Birch 
Col. Secy. 
New Westminster. 

[Letter from J.B. Launders.] 

New Westminster, 

Junes''', 1865. 


In accordance with your orders of the 31^' of May I proceeded to Burrard Inlet, arriving 
there at 3 p.m. and marking out Captain Stamp's Mill Claim the same evening (June 1^'). On 
referring to the sketch appended it will be seen that the N.W. corner occurs in the centre of an 
Indian Village to clear which would only give the sawmill about 90 acres; by the appearance of 
the soil and debris this camping ground is one of the oldest in the Inlet. The resident Indians 
seemed very distrustful of my purpose and suspicious of encroachment on their premises. 

The sawmill claim does not in any way interfere with the proposed site of the Fort. 

I have etc. 


The Honorable 
The Colonial Secretary. 


[Letter from C. Brew.] 

June?*, 1865. 

I have the honour to state that a Squamish Indian called Supple Jack has squatted for the 
last three years on the land in question. There are two male relatives now living near him. Captain 
Stamp has no objection to their remaining where they are. They can be at any time removed; the 
ground does not belong to their tribe. 

C. BREW, J. P. 

The Honorable 
The Colonial Secretary. 

First divine service, City of Vancouver (old boundaries). 

Daily News-Advertiser, 27 September 1888: 

"Yesterday afternoon Rev. Dr. Sutherland laid the corner stone of the new Methodist Church, corner 
Dunsmuir and Homer streets ..." 

(This was the "Homer Street Methodist Church" on the northwest corner, Dunsmuir and Homer, now the 
Labor Temple, built about 1911.) 

"In a review it was stated that the first religious services within the precincts of what is now the City of 
Vancouver was held in the cookhouse of the Hastings Sawmill on July 30* 1865 by the Rev. E. Robson." 

Ferguson Point, Stanley Park. 

A.G. Ferguson, Esq. thanked for his services by the Board of Park Commissioners, 

Minutes of the Board, 1 7 January 1 898, page 1 30: 

RESOLVED that the thanks of the Board be allowed Mr. A.G. Ferguson for his valuable services 
in the past, and hope that he will continue to give them the benefit of his advice during the coming 

R.G. Tatlow, 

The naming of Southlands. 

Dear Mrs. Vincent: 

You speak of "SOUTHLANDS," and your preference for it as a name. 

It was about 20 years ago — I could give you the exact date — that I appeared before the 
Southlands Ratepayers Assn., an association just formed, in a vacant store on the north west 
corner of 41 ^' and Dunbar. About 1 2 or 1 5 men and women were present; most of them seemed 
to be interested in real estate; that little corner was just emerging "out of the woods"; it was new 
and they were choosing a name, and they were not, in my opinion, a very broad minded group; 
that little corner was their "world." Nearby lived Col. W.H. Malkin, (Hon. Col. then), and he lived in 
his fine residence named "Southlands." The association needed funds, and I learned that he had 
done more than his share, and they felt very kindly towards him. So, in compliment, and also 
because they like the name, they chose " SOUTHLANDS ." 

I pleaded with them NOT to adopt it. I pointed out that we already had South Vancouver, 
South Hill, South Shore, South Granville, South Little Mountain, South Arm Eraser River, South 
New Westminster. They were polite, but I failed completely. I pointed out that Vancouver was 


deluged with "Heights," "Views," and "Crests." (We have about 50 heights; 30 views, and 10 
crest), and the "south" "lands" meant precisely nothing. It was no good; I made no progress. 

I pointed out that the Indian name "Kitsilano" was the only one of its kind in the world; not 
matter what continent one was on, "Kitsilano" meant one place and one place only. It had an 
interesting history; Southlands would be unromantic historically. 

My suggestion was "MUSQUEAM," a name dating back to 1808; unique; it would be the 
only one on earth; had an historical background of interest to all Canada and beyond; was 
euphonious, i.e. mus-kwee-am. One could lecture for an hour on "Musqueam," but sixty seconds 
would be long enough for Southlands. 

And that is the end of my story. 

With my deep respects. 

Most sincerely, 


Mrs. C.W.J. Vincent, 
3905 West : 

3905 West 39'^ Ave 

Founding and naming Abbotsford, B.C. Shortreed, B.C. 


Letter from John Charles Maclure, pioneer of Granville, B.I., son of John Maclure, Royal Engineer, 1858, 
of Matsqui. Mr. J.C. Maclure is the discoverer of the clay deposit at Clayburn, B.C. 

Oct. 31", 1950. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

You are right in assuming that the name Abbotsford was chosen as a compliment to 
Harry Abbott, superintendent, Canadian Pacific Railway, upon their agreeing to build a station 
there in exchange for a free right-of-way through the property. The spelling was later changed to, 
and still is, Abbotsford. 

SHORTREED was the first to buy a lot and open a store in Abbotsford. He was also a 
Justice of the Peace. I think he has been dead now some years; like all my associates in this, my 
first, real estate venture, viz., Robert Ward, W.C. Ward, and D.J. Munn. 

The last of the original lots remaining unsold when the B.C. Electric Chilliwack branch 
(Eraser Valley) was built (about 1 91 0) were sold to E.E. Rand to make a clean-up — at the 
suggestion of my partners. All were very well pleased with their venture. 

I am now only an interested by-stander, but very much interested in watching the town 

Most sincerely, 

J.C. Maclure. 

P.S. Congratulations on your having joined the ranks of greatgrandfathers, for all of whom I have 
a strong fellow feeling. I am planning to spend my Christmas with all my great grands — about a 
dozen — in Los Angeles — whom I have not seen for five years. 


Conversation with Miss Isabel Smith, one of the graduates of the early nursing 



Miss Isabel kindly called at the residence of Major Matthews, 1 1 58 Arbutus Street, 1 July 1 948, and 
remained for tea. Mrs. J.S. Matthews, also a graduate of the early nursing schools, was present. 

VANCOUVER City Hospital. Early nursing schools. 

Miss Smith: "I came to Vancouver from Calgary by C.P.R. in the early spring of one eight nine nine" 
(1 899), "and got off at the old C.P.R. station over the water. I was born in Montreal. My father died when I 
was very, very young. I had an uncle who lived near Calgary, Alexander Allen, and my mother and three 
others of the family (one boy and two girls beside myself) went out to Calgary and to my uncle. I was in 
school in Montreal, so I did not come until the next year. It was really the little town of Okotoks. I was 16, 
but I started teaching school, a little country school, for about three years. Then I took a notion that I 
wanted to be a nurse. 

"Someone had told me about the beauties of Vancouver. I enquired about the hospitals for training. I was 
told that there was a large hospital in Vancouver, called St. Luke's Hospital, which was graduating 
nurses. I corresponded, myself, with what I thought was the superintendent of nurses. Her replies were so 
evasive regarding the training school, but gave a very glorified picture of how graduates had prospered, 
and so on. I asked in reply for the number of beds they had, and the type of hospital, but the information 
sent was elusive, but all the time encouraging me to come. So I made up my mind to come, and leaving 
Mother and the family behind, set out for Vancouver. As I came through the mountains they enthralled me 
so that I hardly got any sleep; I was watching its marvels. A nurse met me at the C.P.R. Station, 
Vancouver, and we walked to St. Luke's Home at the corner of Gore and Cordova streets." 

St. Luke's Home. Sister Frances. 

"When we arrived at St. Luke's, I asked the nurse where the hospital was. She replied, hesitatingly, 'Why, 
it's here.' So my next question was, 'Well, where are the patients?' She, the nurse, became very busy just 
about that time and went and got Sister Frances. Sister Frances was very nice, and friendly, but I was so 
bewildered about he absence of anything that appeared to look like a hospital. I think I am right in saying 
that, at that particular time, there was not one patient there, but in the next day or two a patient arrived. 
The staff of nurses were out on private cases. They told me that most the nursing was outside of the 
hospital. I made enquiries from the nurse who met me. There was just one nurse there in readiness for 
patients, so I asked her was there not a large hospital in the city. Then, I remember, every meal time the 
conversation led by Sister Frances related to some 'horrible' things which had occurred in the City 
Hospital. When I had an afternoon, I went up town and asked a policeman to direct to the City Hospital, 
which he did. I interviewed Miss Clendenning, explaining to her my position. She informed that a training 
school was being started — it was already underway — and after getting particulars as to my qualifications 
and so on, informed me that I would be accepted as a probationer should I care to come." 


"The main building, brick, still standing, facing Cambie Street, was the men's wards. The entrance from 
Cambie Street was in the centre. I was taken through that building along a covered corridor to the second 
brick building behind. On the first floor — the right — was the pharmacy and the storeroom or supply room — 
linens, etc.; then beyond that was a hallway, still in the second brick building, and, at right angles, a tiny 
hall and door led to the dining room for the matron and the doctor which they used as an office. That is, 
the desk was there. Let me make it clear to you. The Medical Superintendent and the Matron (Miss 
Clendenning) used the same room for office and their private dining room. I should say the room was 
twelve feet by ten feet. 

"To the left — opposite the entrance to the room just mentioned — was a small sitting room, about as big as 
this dining room, twelve feet by twelve feet. It was used by the Medical Superintendent but chiefly by the 
Lady Superintendent, Miss Clendenning. It was a useful room for people to sit while waiting to see the 
Medical Superintendent or Matron. 


"Then, the doctor's sleeping room (Medical Superintendent's) was beyond the sitting room. Miss 
Clendenning's bedroom was on that side, looking into the lane. That concludes the right hand side. 

"Then, to the left hand side, was the general kitchen, with a large pantry and store room. Then, the 
nurses' dining room took up the remainder. 

"In the main building, facing Gamble Street, there were four wards — two upstairs, two downstairs. Each 
ward had four beds on each side, and two beds down the centre — ten beds to each ward — forty in all, 
though, originally, intended to be thirty-two beds. We were crowded and the two beds placed centrally in 
each ward were added." 

Note: In 1949-1950 the buildings were torn down and the site made into a parking lot for the Downtown 
Parking Commission. J.S.M. 

At this point Miss Smith was called to her ailing sister waiting in a motor car, and the conversation 

J.S. Matthews 

10 July 1948. 

"The merry children of Vancouver" in Stanley Park. 

One brilliant summer's day last year, our photographic artist, Mr. Art Jones, strolling with his camera in 
Stanley Park, observed a group of merry little children, under their beloved governess, fondly known to 
them as "Ting," though actually Mrs. G.M. Bingham, 1560 Nelson Street, marching on their way to play. 
Mr. Jones instantly saw the beauty of the scene, and created one of the most charming of all photographs 
of our famous park. It was reproduced, together with its story by Miss Muriel Maclean, in our magazine 
section, 21^' September 1946. The City Archivist obtained some prints, and sent them to the Lord Derby, 
to illustrate to that venerable gentleman, the great changes which have taken place in Stanley Park since 
he assisted at its dedication in 1889. Lord Derby's two letters are his acknowledgment. 

It was the original intention to honour Lord Strathcona by naming our famous domain "Strathcona Park," 
but Lord Strathcona hesitated, and requested that he be allowed to ask Lord Stanley, Governor General, 
to accept the distinction; which he. Lord Stanley, did, and upon the occasion of his first visit, a ceremony 
took place at the end of the Pipe Line Road, First Narrows, upon a grassy spot, known as "Chaythoos," in 
Squamish Indian tongue, beside the wooden mausoleum of Khay-tulk, son of Chief Khahtsahlanogh, from 
whom our great suburb, Kitsilano, takes its name. Lord Stanley laid the foundation stones of a cairn, 
composed of samples of the ores of British Columbia, which has since been lost or destroyed. Then, 
throwing his both arms to the heavens as though embracing within them the whole of the one thousand 
acres of primeval forest, he dedicated Stanley Park with these words: 

"To the use and enjoyment of the peoples of all colours, creeds and customs for all time." 

Bending forward, he poured the champagne from its bottle slowly to the ground, and solemnly 
pronounced, "I name thee Stanley Park." 

The present Rt. Hon. the Earl of Derby, K.G., is the son of His Excellency Lord Stanley of Preston, 
Governor General of Canada, 1 888-1 893, and was present as his father's A.D.C. at the ceremony. The 
reference in his letter to Lady Derby is that their recent marriage made the visit to Vancouver part of their 
honeymoon. He is the seventeenth to bear the title, pronounced "Darby," created in 1485, the first being 
Sir Thomas Stanley, K.G., who was summoned to Parliament as Baron Stanley in 1456. The present earl, 
now 82, served in the South African War, 1900-1901, was mentioned in despatches, and has since filled 
countless public offices including Ambassador to France, Postmaster-General, Secretary of State for War, 
and Lord Mayor of Liverpool. 

In addition to being a King of the Garter, the highest honour excepting the Victoria Cross at His Majesty's 
disposal. Lord Derby takes a keen delight in being a fully fledged member of the "Hot Stove Hockey 
League," as the notable band of retired, or "has been," hockey players are known, and takes much 


pleasure in recalling many a hot chase after the puck on the ice arena sixty years ago. It is thought that 
he is the only surviving member of the original Stanley Cup hockey team. 

The original hockey team of Ottawa was called "The Rebels," and at a banquet, 1 8 March 1 892, tendered 
to the Ottawa Hockey Club which had won the championship of the Canadian Amateur Hockey 
Association, Lord Kilcoursie, on behalf of His Excellency, John Stanley, Governor General, offered a cup 
emblematic of Canadian Hockey championship. This cup is now the famous Stanley Cup, the 
competitions for which are now being played. 

In writing Major Matthews, City Archivist, recently, the aged earl said: 

I remember so well its initiation. It was in connection with a small group of hockey enthusiasts of 
whom four or five, if not more, were members of the staff of my father. Lord Stanley, Governor- 
General. We formed a team of ourselves; our name "The Rebels." I'm glad to think that from that 
very small beginning there has developed the present contest for the "STANLEY CUP," which 
you tell me is now the greatest ice hockey contest in North America, and that means in the world. 

The opening of Stanley Park, October 1889. 

The children's greeting to Their Excellencies Lord Stanley, Governor General, and 
Lady Stanley. 

We come! We come! 
We come, good friends, to greet you. 
Our hearts are free and happy are we. 
Yes! happy are we to meet you. 

There was a platform erected on Georgia street, across from the old Hotel Vancouver at Granville 
street, and there the scholars of Vancouver Schools stood. I was one of them. The above verse 
was sung by the school children upon the occasion of the visit of Lord and Lady Stanley to 
Vancouver in 1889. 

Excerpt from letter, 11 May 1954, from Mrs. N.E. (Jane) Lougheed, 2941 West 45* Avenue, to Mrs. Jean 
Gibbs, Assistant Archivist, Vancouver. 

The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Derby, K.G. 

6* Feb 

The Rt. Hon. 

6* Feb. 1948 


Dear Mr. Stroyan: 

I have the honor to call your attention to the press notices announcing the demise of Lord 
Derby. Lady Derby survives. Other descendants include the Rt. Hon. Oliver Stanley, P.C, who 
was Secretary of State during the late war, grandson. 

It is known to you, but, merely to refresh your memory. Lord Derby, as A.D.C. to his 
father. His Excellency The Governor-General, Baron Stanley of Preston, was present, with his 
bride, now his widow, at the dedication ceremony at the end of the pipe line road, Oct. 1 889, 
when His Excellency exclaimed that he dedicated Stanley Park " to the use and enjoyment of 
peoples of all colours, creeds and customs for all time. " And " I name thee Stanley Park. " 

A beautiful, but peculiar illuminated scroll had been presented to Lord Stanley, and to 
which he was replying. The original is now in the City Archives, suitably framed, as in 1 939, the 
late Lord Derby generously, at our request, represented it to the Citizens of Vancouver. I enclose 
a printed copy of it; one well worth reading. 

I also enclose you a photograph of two letters, not yet one year old. They were received 
following our sending him the admirable photo, "The Merry Children of Vancouver" in Stanley 


Park. He says that Lady Derby and he look back with pleasure to that time when they were first 
married (they were on their honeymoon), and that she is in good health, but he is 82 and very 
infirm. You may recall that, in 1943, at the occasion of the re-dedication we cabled him 
felicitations, and his most recent letter, two months ago, reads: " It is very kind of you to have sent 
me a Christmas cake and dried fruit, and I appreciate your thought of Lady Derby and myself. 
They will make a welcome addition to our rather limited fare of these days. " 

Lord Derby, during his many years, was one of the great statesmen of the Empire; Lord 
Mayor of Liverpool; president (British) Board of Trade, Postmaster General, Ambassador to 
France, and originator of the "Derby Scheme" of recruiting during the first World War. 

While they had the opportunity, it seems to me, the gentlemen of the Parks Board did all 
that was possible to extend to Lady Derby and to him those courtesies which were his due. You 
may recall that, in 1943, they were invited to be your guests at the re-dedication ceremonies and 
festivities, which invitation, on account of his health, they had to decline. The Citizens of 
Vancouver have tried their best to convey, while time permitted, evidences of their esteem and 
fond recollections. He was, we believe, the last survivor of the original Stanley Cup hockey team, 
of Ottawa. 

Lady Derby, who was beside him at the time the park was dedicated, survives. 

With best wishes 

Most sincerely, 


P.B. Stroyan, Esq., 
Superintendent, Parks Board 

1888-1948. Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C. Opening and naming, 27 September 1888. 
60™ Anniversary, 27 September 1948. 

Address of Major J. S. Matthews, City Archivist, Vancouver, at a banquet to commemorate the sixtieth 
anniversary of the naming and opening of Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada, given by the Board of Park 
Commissioners in the Stanley Park Pavilion, Stanley Park, on 27 September 1948, at 6:00 p.m. 

Mr. Chairman; Your Worship; Ladies and Gentlemen: 

All present, save myself, are now, or have been. Park Commissioners, are relatives of 
Commissioners, or are Park officials. I alone speak for the citizens; thousands of them, some 
gone, some here now, others coming in the long years to be. I bring you their united good wishes, 
their gratitude for your sixty years of labour, and their encouragement as you commence your 

"Westward the stream of empires wends its way. 
The four first acts already passed. 
The fifth shall end the drama with the day. 
Time's noblest offspring is the last." 

Bishop Berkeley penned those lines forty years before the Spaniard, Narvaez, sailing in and out 
and 'round about in English Bay, 1791 , was the first European to see Stanley, Park, and name it 
Punta de la Bodega — our Ferguson Point. The Bishop had in mind the empires of Babylon, 
Greece, Carthage, and Rome, the "four first acts," and, lastly, America, "Time's noblest offspring." 
He died in 1753 when Captain Vancouver was a babe in arms; when New York had a population 
of 22,000, and when British Columbia was shown on the maps as the "Western Sea." 

Narvaez was the first white man to see the western mainland shore of Canada, and he saw it at 
Stanley Park; there was no earlier discovery. In the City of Vancouver Bodega is the oldest name. 


But Narvaez saw the English Bay side only. Next year Captain Vancouver passed through the 
Narrows, and saw the other side, and this is what he wrote: 

"this island" (Stanley Park) "lying exactly across the channel, appears to form a similar 
passage" (Lost Lagoon) "to the south of it, with a smaller island" (Deadman's) "lying 
before it." 

Queen Victoria's proclamation, 2"*^ August 1858, proclaims that 

"this wild and unoccupied land on the north west coast of North America shall henceforth 
be called British Columbia." 

Then she sent the Royal Engineers to establish civil administration. I have in my hand a page torn 
from today's telephone directory. It reads in part: 

"Scales. J.H. 3520 Main Street. Fairmont 4381 -R" 

Three years ago, 20* October 1945, Mr. and Mrs. Scales were your dinner guests in this Pavilion 
and you conferred upon Mr. Scales the Freedom — the one and only — of the Parks of Vancouver, 
and presented them with an illuminated address. Tomorrow we send a wreath. Mr. Scales passed 
away at his home on Saturday evening. He was one of the child passengers of the Thames City, 
and the last survivor, which brought the Royal Engineers to British Columbia, 1859, and was 94 
years old on 26* June last, but was young enough to symbolise the recentness of it all, for he 
slept in Stanley Park when the only habitations on the bouldered beach of the whole of 
Vancouver Harbour were two whitemen's cabin, an empty shed, and two small pioneer sawmills. 

"I wish Corporal Turner and party to proceed to Burrard Inlet and survey lands, et cetera," 

wrote Colonel Moody, Royal Engineer, on a scrap of paper in 1863. Corporal Turner and party 
came in boats. There were no roads — all was forest. They made the first survey of Stanley 
Park — called it "Coal Peninsula," it adjoined Coal Harbour — marked Chief Khahtsahlano's home 
(Kitsilano), on their map at Chaythoos just inside Prospect Point. Later, the sawmillers came and 
cleared the forest off our Brockton Point cricket grounds; thought better of it and left. The 
fishermen squatted at Village Bay nearby, and boiled herring to make machine oil. One of them 
built the sloop Morning Star by the Nine O'Clock Gun. The mourners buried their dead at 
Brockton Point in our first graveyard. The wild cattle in the park were not dangerous. It was the 
awful crashing of bushes, and the thunderous noise the frightened beasts made as they bolted 
away at the approach of men, which was so startling. 

But Bodega, Coal Peninsula, Stanley Park, remained, as it had ever been, a silent wilderness, 
hidden beneath a dense forest of huge trees towering to the heavens, standing close together as 
a field of grain, and the habitat of bear, deer, cougar, wolf, and a few Indians clad in skins. On 
maps it was marked "Government Reserve," reserved for something — none knew precisely what. 
The first inkling that it was of value — except to loggers — was when the railway had a map drawn 
showing the eastern half of it, from Second Beach to Lumberman's Arch as part of the proposed 
"C.P.R. Townsite," now our West End. 

Why the Almighty ordained that of all the countless generations of men which have gone, your 
generation and mine should have been chosen by Him to change an age-old order, the primeval 
solitude of centuries, into Stanley Park, a thing of modern living beauty, must ever remain a 

Then, suddenly, the flood gates opened. The railway was complete; a trickle of whitemen came 
over the Rockies. They grew in numbers until great hordes flowed over in huge waves down the 
Pacific Slope; so that, before that little boy, John Henry Scales, the first Freeman of Stanley Park, 
had passed from the sight of men, perhaps as many as one million persons visit Stanley Park 
each year, where once he, as a lad, slept alone in the night. 



One bleak wintry night in January, 1 886, tine wind moaned in tlie tree tops along Hastings Street 
from the Cenotaph to Carrall Street. A few men, each carrying his own lantern — its light bobbing 
in the darkness as he strode — gathered on Water Street. One side was the beach. Each in turn 
passed down a narrow alley to a sort of hall behind Blair's Saloon. Behind the hall was a swamp, 
the home of a million frogs — now Woodward's store. Through the open door one could see strong 
bewhiskered men standing smoking around a huge iron stove; a pile of cordwood, oil lamps 
suspended from the rough ceiling, and some benches. Mr. Alexander, manager of Hastings 
Sawmill, took the chair, and then explained that the object was to incorporate the village of 
Granville — twenty acres of forest debris — into the City of Vancouver. 

Imagine the courage and the vision of those men. When the incorporation papers came out they 
were for a city five miles wide. Some old-timers gasped in amazement. They could understand a 
city extending from our Post Office to the Ballantyne Pier and back as far as False Creek; but a 
city from Jericho to Hastings Park and back two miles into the forest of our Shaughnessy — that 
was a little too much for some to grasp. 

However, an election was held; no voters list, no money in the bank, not even a civic pen or 
pencil or a chair, and the Council met in a room about ten by fourteen. The spectators peered in 
through the open door. The very first motion at the very first business meeting of the very first 
Council was that Ottawa should be asked to grant us the "Government Reserve" as a park. It was 
a year before they got it, but as soon as they did, they built the Coal Harbour bridge on piles, 
where our Causeway is, and started a seven mile park road around it. There was already a trail in 
places, for not even an Indian can walk along the beach when the tide is in; an Indian trail, broken 
by hand, worn smooth by Indian bare feet, and used alike by wild animal and man. White men, 
with iron axes, slashed it a bit wider. Today that trail is paved and is our famed Stanley Park 

Old Chief Khahtsahlano's home of cedar slabs at the end of the Pipe Line Road, First Narrows, 
was occupied in 1 886 by his grandson, Mr. Khahtsahlano. He is here tonight. His mother and her 
family were at breakfast when someone struck their abode — bang, bang, bang — and the family 
rushed out to see who dare do that. Three or four surveyors with surveying instruments were 
there. They said they were going to build a road; it would make the Indian property very valuable. 
They cut a survey notch in the side of the lodge. The ancient home was doomed. It was pulled 
down to allow the road — now our Driveway — to pass. By January, 1888 a good deal of the road 
was complete. Then the smallpox came and the contractor's camp, stables, bedding and clothes 
were burned. There was delay. Meanwhile, the new Governor General, Lord Stanley, had arrived 
at Ottawa. 


The twenty-seventh of September, sixty years ago, was a lovely day. Cloudless sky, brilliant 
sunshine, cool summer zephyrs. The procession formed up at Carrall and Powell streets, where 
the old Maple Tree had stood. The City Band was in a wagon drawn by four horses. The Fire 
Brigade was in another four horse wagon. The procession proceeded via Georgia Street to the 
Coal Harbour bridge, and wound along the beautiful driveway twixt the trees, our Park Road. It 
stopped at Chaythoos, at Khahtsahlano's old home, beside Supplejack's Grave at the end of the 
Pipeline road where there was a grassy spot, about the only grassy spot there was. A temporary 
platform had been erected. Carriages, cabs, buggies, express wagons, everybody came — some 
on foot. It was almost a public holiday. Many stores closed. The Hon. John Robson, of Robson 
Street, Provincial Secretary, the Mayor of Victoria, Mr. Abbott, of Abbott Street, C.P.R. 
superintendent, David Oppenheimer, the Mayor, and Park Commissioners Alexander, Ferguson, 
Tatlow and McCraney were there. 

Two months previously. Mayor Oppenheimer had requested Sir Donald A. Smith, afterwards Lord 
Strathcona, to select a name. Sir Donald approached the new Governor General, Lord Stanley, 
who acceded to Sir Donald's suggestion. But the name had been kept a profound secret. When 
Mayor Oppenheimer, in a long and eloquent speech, announced it, the Union Jack, the national 


flag of Canada, was unfurled. The band played "God Save the Queen," and the assemblage gave 
three cheers for Her Majesty Queen Victoria. The Park Commissioners had been appointed the 
previous day, and Mayor Oppenheimer delivered to them a copy of the by-law creating their 
office, and concluded his speech by saying: 

"Ladies and Gentlemen: I shall not detain you longer but, in the name of the citizens of 
Vancouver, I deliver Stanley Park to the care and guardianship of the Park Committee 
here present, and hope that under their management and that of their successors, we 
may ultimately realise our present hopes to have the most beautiful park in the world." 

A large number of fireworks were let off which, exploding high in the air, released inflated forms of 
men, animals and ships to the delight of the children. Some people went picnicking, others for a 
drive. That night the new Salvation Army band paraded for the first time, and the day's festivities 
closed with a ball in the Opera House — Hart's Opera House — actually a glorified shed, on Carrall 
Street, in what is now our Chinatown. It was nearly daylight when the dancing ceased. It had 
been the most gala day Vancouver had ever known. 

There is no greater honour than to be the representative of one's fellows and the trustee of his 
welfare. The greatest of all honours is to be a good servant — kings and queens aspire to that. 
The most civilised man, and most intelligent, is he who serves his fellows most. I ask you to 
examine the roll of the sixty-seven park commissioners who have served us since 1888. You will 
not find in all Canada a more conscientious, faithful and devoted group of men and women, 
whose axiom has always been that they seek no reward other than the comfort derived from the 
esteem of their fellow citizens, and the quiet consolation of duty done. Banish the thought that a 
Commissioner does nothing save attend a meeting once in two weeks. The daily detail is 
constant and continual. Some have served long years — Mr. Rogers twenty-six, though some 
calculate it twenty-seven; Mr. Holland nineteen; Mr. Tatlow eighteen; Mr. Lees sixteen; Mr. 
Baynes fifteen; Mr. Tisdall fifteen; and Mr. McDonald and Mr. Costello ten. 

And, these good men would chide me if I failed to remind you of the officials, great and small, 
from Mr. Avison, the Park Ranger, in that day the only employee, to Mr. Dickson, our present 
Chief Gardener; from Mr. Eldon to Mr. Stroyan and Mr. Lefeaux; and from some unknown lady to 
Miss Bell. 

All honour to you all on this your diamond jubilee day. To those who now serve we urge, "Keep 
on, keep on." To those who serve no longer, we bow our heads and grasp their hands, and to 
those here to represent commissioners who have passed away we give reassurance that the 
memory of your dear relatives is held in fond recollection. 

(The roll of deceased Park Commissioners is called.) 

When men, having first provided for their own as is right that they should, turn aside in their path 
and devote their talents to the common weal it is fitting and proper that they should receive the 
plaudits of their fellows, that others may see their good works and so emulate their example. 
Birds of the air and beasts of the field — they hustle for themselves and are satisfied when their 
bellies are full. But with mankind it is different. They sometimes give their lives, in peace or war, 
for one another. I am the spokesman for the multitude. It is the voice of the host which you hear — 
the old pioneer, the newcomer, the aged and the children, in admiration and appreciation of what 
you are doing and what you have done. In one grand united acclaim they are cheering, "Well 
done. Park Commissioners, well done; thank you, thank you." 

Dedication of Stanley Park, October 1889. Toy balloons. 

"These two small paper flags, one of the Japanese National flag, and the other a sort of imitation of the 
United States stars and stripes, except that it has only nine stars, came out of the toy balloons they fired 
up in the air at the end of the Coal Harbour Bridge, by the Park Ranger's home — where the Causeway is 
now at the entrance to the park, when Lord Stanley dedicated the park. They went up as rockets, burst, 
and a little balloon floated down with these two flags flying to it. My Father" (William Bennett) "ran after 
one and got this and I have kept it ever since — over sixty years. When I got it I was very much 


disappointed because it was not a Union Jacl<; I wanted a Union Jacl<. I was just over fourteen at the 

Mrs. Ernest Silvester Smitli, nee Miss Bennett, wlien speal<ing to Major Mattliews, City Arcliives, 28 July 

Mrs. Smith presented the two flags to Major Matthews. They are of paper, and about twelve inches 
square — attached together with the original twine. JSM. 

Commemorating the dedication of Stanley Park, 1889 and honoring the pioneers 
OF Vancouver, Canada, 1949. 

Banquet, tendered by the Board of Park Commissioners, at "The Pavilion," Stanley Park, on Tuesday, 1 
November 1949, at 6:00 p.m. 

Remarks by City Archivist: 

The first European to see Stanley Park was the Spanish navigator Narvaez. He named it Point 
Bodega, the oldest name in our city. He was also the first white man to see the western mainland 
shore of Canada. A year later, 1792, Captain George Vancouver discovered that behind Stanley 
Park was a narrow entrance which we call our First Narrows, leading to a spacious harbour 
beyond. Last year twenty-seven thousand ships, great and small, followed where he led. 

Vancouver was accorded a cordial welcome — the first ever given here to a distinguished visitor. A 
flotilla of Squamish canoes put out from the now-vanished village of Whoi-Whoi in Stanley Park, 
and escorted his small boat as it passed inwards. They showered him and his men with handfuls 
of white down feathers plucked from the breasts of wild fowl which they threw as we throw 
confetti over a bride. The gentle summer zephyrs wafted the fluffy white down into the air, 
whence it fell, as a myriad of white specks, upon the placid surface of the waters. A palisade of 
huge green trees towering to the heavens stood like pillars on both shores as Vancouver passed 
through the narrow marine corridor. 

For sixty years Stanley Park lay silent and still as it had done since the dawn of time. Then the 
Royal Engineers, sent here in 1 858 to establish civil government in the wilderness which Queen 
Victoria, the Good, had named "British Columbia," set our park aside, together with the Indian 
Reserve on the opposite shore, as a defence from attack in the rear of New Westminster, capital 
of the new crown colony. 

A few more years pass and then, in 1886, Vancouver was incorporated as a city — a city on paper, 
for all else was forest. The first City Council met in a primitive building of board and batten above 
the Water Street beach. They had no money but the first resolution passed at the first meeting 
was to petition the Canadian government to give us the naval reserve as a park. At that time 
access to Stanley Park was by a huge log which had drifted in, and spanned, from bank to bank, 
the narrow channel at Lost Lagoon. Across it pioneers scrambled with care lest they slip and fall 
into the waters beneath. Filled in with earth it is now the beautiful "Causeway," entrance to the 

Two years later, in 1888, after minor improvements, the Park was formally opened by Mayor 
David Oppenheimer. Next year, 1889, on October 29'*", sixty years ago. Lord Stanley, Governor 
General, in his carriage drawn by four white horses, passed through the forest then standing on 
our now populous "West End," and on to Chaythoos, a grassy spot, formerly the site of an Indian 
village near Prospect Point. There, upon a tiny platform, with arms upraised as though embracing 
the whole primeval solitude, he dedicated it, 

"To the use and enjoyment of peoples of all colours, creeds, and customs, for all time." 

Then, as he poured the sparkling wine upon the virgin earth, he solemnly declared, 

"I name thee 'Stanley Park.'" 


Road race around Stanley Park circa 1899-1906. Runners. 

For the volunteer soldiers of the 6*^ Regiment, "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles." 

This was a race for runners held in the evening of Dominion Day, and was from the Hotel Vancouver on 
the corner of Georgia and Granville streets, around Stanley Park via Brockton Point, Prospect Point, 
Second Beach, Beach Avenue to Denman Street, along Denman to Georgia, and back to the Hotel 

It took place annually for about six or seven years, and then was discontinued due to changing 
conditions, and the fact that the best runners were growing older and had not been replaced. The race of 
1903 and 1904 had a large number of runners; probably 20; and there were cups and prizes. The prize 
awarded in 1904 was a magnificent huge cup of oak with silver bands. I often wonder what became of it. 
It may be in the Drill Hall. 

At the time, all Kitsilano — which had not been named — was forest; so was Shaughnessy, Burnaby and 
North Vancouver. Commercial Drive, Grandview, ran through a clearing. Much of the West End was still 
vacant. There was one unit of volunteer soldiers, which had been the 5* Regiment, Canadian Garrison 
Artillery, but which had been changed to the 6*^ D.C.O.R. The artillery had "marching and firing" contests 
to the rifle range at Central Park. They started at the Court House, now our Cenotaph, marched with all 
haste to Central Park, fired a few rounds at a target, and the best team of about eight was declared 
winner. This contest became less interesting as time went on, and was replaced with a road race for 
regimental runners around the park. And, in the cool of the evening of the national holiday, the road race 
was very popular, and a large crowd of holiday makers gathered to see the finish. It was quite exciting as 
the crowd stood waiting at the corner of Granville and Georgia, and there were shouts of "here they 
come; here they come" as the first leading man appeared over the hill about Bute or Jervis Street, at 

There was so little to do in Vancouver in those days. No motor cars, no yachts — much; very little 
mountain climbing; and forest or clearing everywhere. English Bay beach was very small; most of it 
covered with boulders which cut the feet. It was not easy to find excitement for the evening of a holiday. 
Band concerts were popular; people stood around and listened. 

There ought to be fairly full reports in the old book of military clippings in a cabinet drawer of old military 
records. They should be in a book about quarto size, 2 inches thick, and black back binding. 

J.S. Matthews 

1 May 1954. 

"The fastest time, 1903, E.G. Boult, 50 min. 30 sees." 

5 December 1945 - Electric trolley busses — the first in Vancouver. 

Two minute radio remarks over CKWX, at 12:30 noon, at the corner of Burrard and Hastings streets, 
when the Mayor, Aldermen, and other civic dignitaries of Vancouver are the guests of B.C. Electric 
Railway Co., for the first ride in the new electric trolley busses. They are to tour the "West End" to show 
how the busses operate. 

Remarks by Major J.S. Matthews, City Archivist: 

This broad busy thoroughfare, Burrard Street, smooth paved, is a fitting point from which to 
inaugurate a new transportation enterprise. Within the memory of living man, it was a slit in the 
forest, a mere peephole through the trees, the first survey line which divided up the site of the city 
and separated the "Brickmaker's Claim," a preemption which we call our "West End," from the 
remainder of the wilderness. 

The high building above us, the Marine Building, 349 feet tall, stands, precisely, on the exact spot 
where our first settler, John Morton, slept on the ground beneath the towering forest, 16* October 
1 862, whilst he built himself a shelter; he went to New Westminster for Christmas. He acquired 


the whole of the "West End," 550 acres all the way to Stanley Park, for five hundred and fifty 

Twenty years later a factory on the shore below us extracted oil from Coal Harbour herring, and, 
too, over this ground the saddest procession our city ever saw took place. The distressed of the 
Great Fire, which destroyed the first Vancouver, 1 886, straggled to the shelter of its sheds for the 
night following that awful holocaust. A few yards to our left, on a narrow ledge cut in the cliff — the 
sea was below — the first train, Montreal to Vancouver, linking the Atlantic to the Pacific, came to 
a stop in 1887. 

In 1 939 the King and Queen of Canada, the first ever to visit Vancouver, commenced their tour of 
the City from this spot. 

Today we take another forward step in our progress. Our genial hosts are taking us for a tour of 
Morton's "Brickmaker's Claim," our densely populated "West End," in the latest transportation 
contrivance. That excellent corporation, the B.C. Electric Railway Co., and its courteous officials 
are emulating their progressive predecessors of 1890, who introduced the first electric street cars 
in the west, and so dispensed with horses which required bedding down at night, and got rid of 
hay and oats. This time they are dispensing with rails, gasoline engines and gasoline, and are 
substituting rubber. 

Street car destination panels. 

The earliest street car signs in Vancouver, that is, destination signs, were painted on a long narrow clear 
glass panel at the top front of each street car, and at night a light shone through to make it readable. 

Then came the large "cardboard" panel, about three feet wide by four deep, placed on both sides of the 
front end. They were visible for blocks, and one could see what car was coming. They were very good 
when we had few street car lines, but as we got more and more it became difficult to select suitable 
colours. They were abandoned, and we returned to the long narrow glass panel overhead. 

For a short time, the long narrow pane of glass, mentioned in the first paragraph, conformed to the colour 
of the cardboard panel; for instance, the lighted sign — at night — showed red for Robson, the same colour 
as the panel of cardboard in the daytime, which sign was invisible at night. 

The signs I recall were: 

Davie street belt-line cars 

Robson street belt-line cars 

Fairview belt-line cars 

Kitsilano — Harris Street 
Kitsilano — Powell Street 

Grandview (Cedar Cottage) 
Fourth Avenue to Alma 

Hastings Street Boundary Road 
Trafalgar and Broadway 

Victoria Road (from downtown 
via Main Street, Kingsway, and 
Victoria Road to about 49* 

Pender Street 

Yellow panel 

Red panel 

White panel 

Green and white, diagonal 

Red and white, diagonal 

White sign with red ball in centre 

Green star on (I think) white 

Forget, but think it was all green 


Excerpt from The Buzzer, published by the British Columbia Electric Railway 
Company Ltd., Vancouver, Friday, 6 October 1950. 

Sunday, September 17, civic officials and many prominent citizens paid tlieir respects to 
Teddy Lyons and old No. 124 who have jointly acted as ambassadors of goodwill for Vancouver 
for some 40 years. 

Following the journey, many suggestions poured in to the BCE urging that the old car be 
preserved as an historic link with the early days of the city. 

Among these came a request to President A.E. "Dal" Grauer from Major J. S. Matthews, 
Vancouver's venerable and respected archivist. 

As a result of these requests, Mr. Grauer has given orders that the old car not be 
scrapped until the wish of the citizens of Vancouver becomes known. 

The famous observation car. 

The last run of the celebrated "observation car," a street car specially fitted for sightseeing, roofless, and 
with seats in tiers rising from front to back each higher than those in front, took place, with much official 
ceremony, on 17 September 1950. It had been in operation about 40 years. 

A year or so later it was sold and, in 1955, was operating on the streets of Montreal. 


The Burrard telescope and Inspector Henry Larsen. Royal Canadian Mounted 
Police ship St. Roch. 

20'*'June 1947. 

Dear Sir Gerald: 

I am in a hurry, but can spare five minutes to tell you; before I forget. 

Inspector Henry Larsen, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "St. Roch" had lunch with 
me here in the City Archives, and has just this minute gone back downtown. 

While here I asked him to look at the City below through the telescope. He looked; then 
looked some more, and then exclaimed "This is wonderful! This is better than we have on the 'St. 
Roch,'" and then he said something else which I forget, but he was very much enamoured with 
the telescope. 

Inspector Larsen's name will be famous as long as the history of the world is written. 
Capt. Vancouver, in 1792, was trying to sail a vessel from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Many 
navigators tried — all failed. In 1942 he sailed his little Vancouver built "St. Roch" from the Pacific 
to the Atlantic by the North West Passage; the first man in history to do it. Then, in 1944 he sailed 
her back again. About 30 years ago a ship got through from east to west, so that his voyage 
westwards was the second ship in history to pass from Atlantic to Pacific but he was the first from 
Pacific to Atlantic. 

He says that your telescope is "wonderful," and much better than theirs on the "St. Roch." 

With my respects to 

Lady Burrard and best wishes 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Major Sir Gerald Burrard, Bart, D.S.O. 


Willow Lodge 
Hungerford, Berks 

Conversation (over the phone) with Sub-Inspector Henry Larsen, R.C.M.P., of the 
R.C.M.P. SCHOONER St. Roch, 5 January 1948. 

His address is that of Mrs. Larsen, 2440 Central Avenue, Victoria. 


(Note: I was alone in the City Archives when the telephone rang; picked up the receiver — heard a voice 
but could not hear the name given. Inspector Larsen's voice and speech are very clear, but low, 
modulated and unhurried, but my hearing is none too good, and, at first, I could not hear the name of the 
speaker. J.S.M.) 

Major Matthews: 
Major Matthews: 
Inspector Larsen: 
Major Matthews: 

Inspector Larsen: 

Major Matthews: 

Inspector Larsen: 
Major Matthews: 
Inspector Larsen: 

Major Matthews: 

Inspector Larsen: 
Major Matthews: 
Inspector Larsen: 
Major Matthews: 
Inspector Larsen: 

Major Matthews: 

Who did you say? (Voice continues.) 

Cannot hear. What? Larsen? Larsen of North Vancouver? What? 

"St. Roch." 

Gracious. Where are you? In Vancouver? I heard you were coming out for 
Christmas. Where's the St. Roch? Cambridge Bay? 

"No. Herschel Island. Thank you very much for your Christmas cake. We didn't get 
it — not yet, but they will get it in a month or so. It got left behind by the plane." 

I packed it in a box lined with plenty of cotton wool, then put the small box inside a 
much larger one, and filled the space with prunes. I didn't think when I used prunes 
for packing that you probably get more prunes than you want; I should have used 
dates or figs. The idea of the prunes was to act as a buffer so that the ornamental 
sugar icing would not be broken. 

"Very kind of you. They'll get it in about a month." 

By dog team. Do the planes stop at Akiavik? 

"No. By plane all the way. They stop at Akiavik, of course, and then fly on to 
Herschel Island." 

I sent you an Illustrated London News of the Princess Elizabeth's wedding last 20 
November. Did you get it? Nice thing; one dollar a copy, and the postage was 
plenty; eighty cents — nothing save airmail to Akiavik. 

"That's very kind of you; they'll get it all right." 

How long are you out for? 

"Cannot say for sure, but expect it will be several months." 

Where are you now; what's your address? 

"Down in the Federal Building, Vancouver, in the office. 2440 Central Avenue, 
Victoria. I came over this morning." 

Give my respects to Mrs. Larsen when you get home. And, don't forget, lunch is on 
the table here waiting for you. I haven't got that label on the piece of Australian gum 
wood you gave me from the St. Roch; must get it put on before you come up. 

Inspector Larsen: "All right. Good bye." (Telephone receiver put back.) 


It is hard to credit tliat I liad been speal^ing to a man wliose name must, for all time, interest all nations; 
the first man to take a ship from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean by the North West Passage, and the first 
man to make the return trip the same way, the first in 1 940-1 942; the second in 1 944. 

J.S. Matthews 

Mrs. Henry Larsen and the North West Passage, 1940-42 and 1944. 

Conversation with Mrs. Daniel Hargreaves, 562 East 12*, who kindly called at the City Archives this 
afternoon, 28 January 1948. 

We were amazed to ascertain from her that Inspector Henry Larsen, F.R.G.S., commander of the famous 
Arctic exploring ship of the R.C.M.P. is her son-in-law. Inspector Larsen was here to lunch yesterday. 

Mrs. Hargreaves: "Mr. Hargreaves was a city employee, storekeeper at the Cambie Street yards, for 
twenty-seven years. He retired twelve years ago this coming March. He is not in the best of health. 

"Mr. Hargreaves came from Burnley, Lancashire, where both he and I were born. His father died when he 
was very young — his name was Robert. His mother was Eliza Ann Hargreaves — both now deceased. He 
went to school in Burnley, and then when he was about 24 — ^just before the Boer War broke out in 1899 — 
he came to Canada by himself. We were not married then. At first he was in Winnipeg; did any kind of 
job, and then he came to Vancouver, how long before 1908 I am not sure, but I left England the last day 
of April 1 908, and I reached Vancouver on the 1 5* May, 1 908. We were married on the 23'^'^ May at the 
home of some friends, the Rev. Mr. Westman" (sic.) "I think he was a Methodist clergyman. Then we went 
to live at the same place we are still living in, 562 East 12*, which Mr. Hargreaves built before I arrived, 
and had it all ready for occupancy. Had everything done — all I had to do was hang the curtains, and I 
brought those with me. 

"My daughter, Mrs. Larsen, is Mary — ^just plain Mary. She was born at 562 East 12*, on the 16* 
September, and she will be 39 next September. Inspector Larsen and Mrs. Larsen now live at 2440 
Central Avenue, Victoria, and they have three children: a girl, 12; the boy, 10 in July. The girl will be 13 
next November. The baby will be three in July next. They are Doreen, Gordon and Beverley. They were 
married at the First Baptist Church on Burrard and Nelson Street — the Rev. Ebert Paul. They met at a 
party somewhere; the rest of it I do not know. It was a lovely wedding. They had the 'Mounties' there." 

Mount Pleasant. Florence Nightingale School. 

"When we went to Mount Pleasant there were not many houses around there. My daughter, Mary, went to 
Florence Nightingale School, just a block from our house. When I arrived here, he was working at some 
sawmill. Then, shortly after we were married, the sawmill closed and in October 1908 he started with the 
City. You see, the City was only small then, and he was down at the yards under the bridge. He stayed 
there until he retired. He was president, two years, of the City Employees union. He was yard foreman. 
He is 73 now and I am 71 . He retired at 61 . He got pneumonia, and it seemed he just simply could not get 
over it. He has a city pension. 

"My father and mother were Mr. and Mrs. Sedgwick, Joseph and Margaret, of Burnley, Lancashire; both 
died since I left England. My dad was a joiner; he died about 1 5 years ago. Mother died just after the first 
war. She died on 8^ December 1918, and both are buried at Burnley. I had three sisters and a brother — 
Gertrude, or Gertie, and Ethel and Ada, and my brother Ernest. They are all living in Burnley and all want 
me to go back 'home' for a trip. I'd go this year, but things are so bad in England. 

"My husband's brothers were John and Harry. John is dead, but Harry is of the Hargreaves Real Estate, 
corner 10* and Main streets. Jack never married but Harry has two sons." 


[Excerpt of letter from Henry A. Larsen.] 

300 Carling Ave., 
Feb. 6'^ 1952. 

My dear Major Matthews: 

[excerpt] ... I was pleased to see in a newspaper clipping from Vancouver that you, at 
last, have been able to get a little more money with which to run the Archives. 

Years and years from now the City of Vancouver will appreciate your work more and 
more, and be grateful for the legacy you left in the form of historical value, both to Vancouver and 
to Canada in general. 

From Inspector Henry A. Larsen, R.C.M.P., F.R.G.S., who commanded the R.C.M.P. schooner St. Roch 
on her famous voyages through the North West Passage, 1940-2, and 1944. 

"The Union Jack — I love that flag." Larsen, of the St. Roch. 

Sergeant Henry A. Larsen, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who took the Vancouver built schooner St. 
Roch from Vancouver to Halifax, the first vessel ever to pass from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic 
around the north of North America, and the first vessel ever to make the return voyage, and, later, the first 
vessel ever to circumnavigate the North American continent, and Major J. S. Matthews, City Archivist, City 
Hall, Vancouver, were sitting chatting at Major Matthews's desk. It was about 1 948, shortly after the City 
Archives had published the pamphlet, "The North West Passage." 

Some paper passed before them upon which appeared an illustration of the Union Jack in colour. Larsen 
pointed to it and then, placing his finger upon it, remarked, "/ love that flag." 

P.S. Inspector Larsen is Norwegian born; a naturalised Canadian. 




On October 12th, 1954, the Royot Conadian Mounted Police Schooner 
"St. Roch" entered the Port of Vancouver ond docked ot Evens, Cotemon & Evans 
wharf, Hius completing her last voyage. This Union Jock was flying high on her 
mastheod above all other flogs and signals. 

The following day, at H.M,C.S. "Discovery", fandship, a public reception wos 
tendered Superintendent Henry A. Larsen, F.R.G.S., her commander, and her crew 
by the Corporation and Citizens of Vancouver. Superintendent Larsen was 
presented with an engraved commemorative silver salver and, in return, he 
presented Major J. S. Matthews, V.D,, City Archivist, with this Union Jack. 
Superintendent Larsen explained to the four hundred guests present that it hod 
been presented to the "St. Roch", that he had flown it during his voyages through 
the North West Passage ond the ctrcumnovigation of the North American continent, 
and then he draped it over the shoulders of Major Motthews, who, some years 
previously, had given it. 

Both men venerated the most respected flag in the world. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_065 

[Letter from Mary Larsen.] 

2440 Central Ave. 
Victoria, B.C. 
June 27/48 

Dear Major Matthews: 

I must apologize for not having written sooner to thank you for two gifts which I have here 
for my husband until his return from the north. 

The brass plaque I know he will treasure highly, together with the copy of his narrative of 
the North West Passage. Myself, I was delighted with the pamphlet as it has always been my 
hope that such could be printed. If it is not asking too much may we have 25 copies of this 
booklet as so many of Mr. Larsen's friends expressed a desire for a copy. 

Thanking you again for your great kindness, 

I am yours 


Mary Larsen 


"North West Passage," 1940-42 and 1944. 

Dear Mrs. Larsen: 

30"" June 1948. 

It is the utmost gratification to me to learn of your approval of the presentation to the 
public, near and far, of the gallant story of your dear husband's intrepid and historic 
achievements; and, to me, the utmost gratification is a great reward. Fear that it might not have 
been done with the full measure of dignity and precision that is deserved has caused me some 
nervousness, and, now, to have your commendation is indeed an immense relief and delight. I 
am bursting with pride. 

The pamphlets are not for sale anywhere; are obtainable at my home only; they are sent 
to selected persons only, and a register of the names and addresses kept. 

You ask for 25 copies and thirty have gone by post to you this morning. In this proud 
endeavor it is for you and for the Inspector to command, not to plead, so if, when the thirty are 
gone, you will, I know, not hesitate to ask for more. I printed 500 copies. 

Alike with all men, we have our time of trial and difficulty, and your remarks come as an 
elixir to stimulate and to encourage, and a triumph to spur us on. 

With my deep respects. 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Mrs. Henry Larsen, 
2440 Central Ave., 
Victoria, B.C. 

Superintendent Larsen and the Union Jack. 

On 12 October 1954, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner St. Roch entered the Port of 
Vancouver, docked at Evans, Coleman and Evans wharf, thus completing her last voyage. A Union Jack 
was flying high on her masthead above all other flags and signals. 

The following day, at H.M.C.S. Discovery, landship, a public reception was tendered Superintendent 
Henry A. Larsen, F.R.G.S., her commander, and her crew by the Corporation and Citizens of Vancouver. 
Superintendent Larsen was presented with an engraved commemorative silver salver, and, in return, he 
presented Major J.S. Matthews, V.D., City Archivist, with a Union Jack. He explained to the four hundred 
guests present that he had flown it during his voyages through the North West Passage and the 
circumnavigation of the North American continent, and then he draped it over the shoulders of Major 
Matthews, who, some years previously, had given it. 

Upon one occasion. Superintendent Larsen remarked to Major Matthews, "I love that flag," and knew that 
his friend did likewise. 




\. . 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_066 


[photo annotation:] 

"R.C.M. Police St. Roch" approaching Evans, Coleman & Evans Dock, Vancouver, on completion of her 
voyage from Halifax, (July 22) through Panama Canal, to Vancouver. Oct. 12, 1954, 3 p.m. The topmost 
flag, the Union Jack, was formally presented, as a relic, to Major J.S. Matthews, at a ceremony at 
H.M.C.S. "Discovery," Wed. Oct. 13, 1954, 5 p.m. R.C.M. P. photo 

At the presentation of the auxiliary schooner R.C.M. Police St. Roch by the 
Dominion of Canada to the City of Vancouver, Council Chamber, City Hall, 
Vancouver, Tuesday, 13 October 1954. 

Major Matthews, City Archivist: 

The story can commence from a sentence in a letter written by Captain Vancouver soon after he 
discovered and named our harbour. May I read from his original letter: 

"We arrived here this day month all in high health and spirits having truly determined the 
non-existence of any water communication between this and the opposite side of 
America; hence I expect no further detention in this hemisphere." 

Columbus hoped to reach Asia by sailing the other way, but found his passage blocked by land, 
that is, the north and south American continents. Later, a man climbed a mountain at Panama 
and saw an ocean on the other side; the problem was how to get a ship into it. Finally Magellan 
got through, but so far to the south that the passage was of scant use, so men tried the north. For 
three hundred years men tried to penetrate the Arctic ice. Almost every nation sent out exploring 
expeditions, British, French, Dutch, Russian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese 
and Italian; between the years 1500 and 1800 about seventy attempts were made. All failed; 
scores of ships were lost and hundreds of sailors did not return. The British tried by approaching 
from the west. Captain Cook was sent to examine the "Western Sea," but found there was no 
sea; it was mountains. We call those mountains "British Columbia." 

Then Captain Vancouver was sent to find a waterway through our mountains, and entered our 
First Narrows in his search. There was no passage by which he could sail from the Pacific to the 
Atlantic. So he wrote the sentence I have just read, and went back the way he had come. Again 
the British tried from the east, and in one expedition Sir John Franklin lost two ships and about 
160 sailors. What became of them was never known. The North West Passage was not found. 

The only way by which the Atlantic could be linked to the Pacific was by a railway, and a 
wilderness of forest at the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway became a world port. Then, 
in 1928, two men, Clarence and Hubert Wallace, who, as boys had played in the clearing we call 
the "West End," built a little ship at the Burrard Dry Dock and called it the St. Roch. Our men drew 
her plans; her hull was our own Douglas fir; the Burrard Iron Works made her engine; her crew 
lived here, and she sailed away. Christmas, 1940, we sat by our warm firesides and heard you, 
sir, (Superintendent Larsen), tell us you were imprisoned in ice and would be for months. Two 
years later he reached Halifax, proving that it was possible to cross Canada by water; that 
Captain Vancouver was wrong, and the gallant St. Roch, with a mere 1 50 horsepower, became 
the first vessel ever to pass from the Pacific to the Atlantic around the north of America. Next year 
she came back the same way, the only ship ever to make the return trip. Then she went to Halifax 
via Panama and became the first to circumnavigate the North American continent; and now she 
has come again, the first to circumnavigate in both directions. 

Other cities wanted the St. Roch. Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa, was considered, but she is ninety feet 
on the waterline and twenty-five feet beam; too long and too wide for the railways. His Worship, 
our Mayor, made representations, and the Dominion cabinet agreed that the proper place for her 
to rest was where she was built, and the proper custodians the men who built her. And, as an 
indication of official and public opinion, when the Mayor proposed and the Aldermen agreed, on 
behalf the Citizens, to defray our share of the expense, not a single dissenting voice was raised; 
the press applauded, and one editorial read, "The St. Roch comes home." 


other famous ships are preserved as relics. Nansen's Fram is ashore at Oslo, Norway, a great 
glass case over her to protect her from the weather. Nelson's Victory is at Portsmouth, high and 
dry; Amundsen's Gj0a sits in a bed of imitation ice at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and the 
Cutty Sark, with her tall masts and rigging towering to the skies, is in a park at Greenwich, 
London, put there at a cost of $250,000 raised by voluntary subscriptions from shipping men the 
world over. Last June the Duke of Edinburgh officiated at the formal opening ceremony. The 
Indian dugout canoe, in which Voss of Vancouver sailed the world, is beside the Parliament 
Buildings, Victoria. 

Six years ago Sergeant Larsen sat at a desk in this City Hall and laid a paper upon it, remarking 
"there's that manuscript I promised," and the City Archives printed 6,000 copies. Those 
pamphlets are in the schools of five Canadian provinces, in the naval colleges of the British Isles, 
and the libraries of the United States. One was translated into the Italian language and printed at 

A granite monument, symbolising her exploits, is in a park at Regina, and a tiny model is in a 
museum. The names St. Roch and Larsen will rank forever with such names as Columbus, 
Magellan, Cook, Vancouver and Amundsen. Long after those in this Chamber this afternoon have 
passed into dust the school children of Canada will be taught the story of the St. Roch and her 

Our interest in northern Canada has been so awakened that last June the Duke of Edinburgh 
visited it, and a new ministry, the Ministry of Northern Affairs, has been created at Ottawa. 

We of Vancouver are a maritime people; our home is the sea and the shore. During the last war 
we built one hundred 10,000-ton cargo steamers; our yachtsmen own one thousand pleasure 
boats; thirty-two thousand ships, great and small, passed inwards through the First Narrows last 
year. Captain Vancouver in his Discovery was the first to peer into Burrard Inlet, a lonely 
unknown haven in an old and densely populated world. Larsen succeeded where he failed. Now 
comes the powerful Labrador quickly crashing across from sea to sea. All honour to them all. So 
long as we have such stout ships at the St. Rocli, and such fine men as the Royal Canadian 
Mountain Police, there is no fear for Canada! 


The ''St. Roch'' Comes Home 

An appeal is being launched to assist in the preservation and 
maintenance of the historic Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner 
"St. Roch" in the same way as Nelson's flagship "Victory", at Ports- 
mouth; the "Cutty Sark", at London, England; Nansen's "Frain", at 
Oslo, Norway, and Amundsen's "Gjoa", at San Francisco all are kept. 

The "St. Roch" was built at our Burrard Dry Dock in Vancouver 
in 1928, by our own men, and of our own British Columbia materials. 
She has been presented, as a Cana<lian national relic, by the Govern- 
ment of Canada to the Citizens of Vancouver as trustees, as it was 
felt that the proper place to preserve her was the place where she was 
built, and the proper custodians, the people who built her. The Citi- 
zens of Vancouver have accepted this respousibility. 

fler preservation is a national tribute to the skill of C'anadiati naval 
architects and shipwrights, and to the rcsourcefidness and gallantry 
of the men of the Roval Canadian Mounted Police who .sailed her. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_067 



The "St. Roch" In The Ice 

The "St. Rocli" was the first ship evci- to pass from the Pacific to 
the Atlantic around the north of America, 1940-1942. She succeeded 
where Captain Vancouver failed, 1792. She w^as the first ship ever to 
make the return voyage, Vancouver to Halifax, then back to Van- 
couver by the North-West Pa.ssage. Her many voyages since 1928 
have greatly contributed to the development of the northern domain 
of Canada. 

She was the first vessel to circumnavigate the North American 
continent, and both ways, west to east and east to west, through 
Panama Canal. 

Her last voyage ended at Vancouver on October 12, 1954, when she 
arrived from Halifax via Panama, and was accorded a public welcome 
in which H.M.C.S. "Labrador", another famous ship, took part. At a 
formal ceremony in the Council C':hamber, City Hall, she was accepted, 
as a national trust, b>' the Corporation and Citizens of Vancouver. 

It is planned to raise the "St. Roch" from the water, and place her, 
covered from the weather, in the famed .Stanley Park. Ultimately, it 
is hoped, a marine museum building for the Port of Vancouver, will 
be erected around her. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_068 


The St. Roch Preservation Fund 

Interim Trustees: His Worship F. J, Hume, Mayor of Vancouver 

Major ). S, Matthews, V.D.. City Archi^'ist 
Bankers: Imperial Bank of Canada 

Auditors: Audit Department, City Hall. 

As offers of money towards the cost of her preservation were being 
received, it became provident to accept them, deposit them in a 
chartered bank, and create an interim trusteeship. This has been 

The exemption of contributions from income tax has been 

All interested are invited to .send donations, or write the 



(!it\ Aichivts, 
City Hall, 
V;ilu:oiivcr 1(1. 
J;miiaiy I", Vih'i. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_069 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_070 


City /Irchivist 

it/ijQX J, S- JfATTHSWa, V.D. 

Mil J. G. GiBH 



IHflT., 1BS3 


October 28th, 1955. 



The preservation of the St. Roch as a Canadian National relic has been 
entrusted by the Government of Canada to the Citizens of Vancouver, where she 
was built of Canadian materials and manned by the men of Canada. The exploits 
of the St. Roch and her crew must, for all time, interest the peoples of aU nations. 

His Worship the Mayor has been authorised to raise funds for her care and 
custody, and His Worship has promised to raise, by voluntary contribution, $42,000 
in 30 days. 

Complete plans have been prepared to dry berth the ship at Kitsilano Point 
in a position which can, in time, be made a most beautiful location. 

The "St. Roch Preservation Society" has been incorporated, and hopes, ulti- 
mately, to create a marine museum for the western coast of Canada, with the St. 
Roch as the main attraction. The Centennial of British Columbia wiO be celebrated 
three years hence— in 1958— and such an institution would be a fitting permanent 

Contributions are exempt from income tax. A start has been made, and dona- 
tions have already been received from all parts of the Dominion. 

An immediate response is needful if His Worship The Mayor is to keep his 
promise of 30 days. His own personal contribution is five hundred dollars ($500). 

All interested are invited to send donations— 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_071 


Surveyor "C.P.R. Townsite," or Vancouver, by L.A. Hamilton, 1885. 

Survey of Vancouver. "C.P.R. Townsite" Survey. L.A. Hamilton. C.P.R. offices, 1885-6. 

On 8 March 1950, letter 673581/01863, G.S. Andrews, Surveyor General, Victoria, wrote Major Matthews 
as follows: 

"A diligent search has been made for any field notes of the survey of Vancouver by L.A. Hamilton, but 
without success." 

Comment by J.S. Matthews: 

This is what I expected. In January 1 886, and possibly a brief period earlier, Mr. Hamilton had an office in 
the C.P.R. Offices, with a staff of about three, upstairs in a new wooden building erected a month or so 
earlier on the southeast corner of Powell and Carrall streets. It was the first business block in the first 
Vancouver; was erected by Mr. A.G. Ferguson (of Ferguson Point, Stanley Park), and was called the 
"Ferguson Block." 

The building was destroyed in the blast of flame which swept Vancouver in June 1886. In this holocaust, 
the plans of the first Hotel Vancouver were burned, and had to be drawn again. In a letter from Mr. 
Hamilton — about 1932 or 1935 — he says that all his photographs were kept in those offices and that they 
were burned. It would be the natural place for him to keep his field notes. In Mr. Hamilton's letter of 5 May 
1932, he writes that he thinks they must be in Vancouver (see photostat of letter to J.S.M.), but every 
search has been made here, both in the C.P.R. Land Office and in the Court House, without success. I 
have never heard of them having been seen by anyone. 

Six field survey note books found, 1950. 

Early in May, 1950, Mr. Harry Dunbar, Chief Clerk, found in an obscure corner of the Canadian Pacific 
Railway Land Department, Vancouver, six surveyor's note books. On 17 May they were presented to the 
City Archives by Mr. C.W. McBain, Land Agent. 

Subsequently a telescope case was made for their protection. It is lettered in gold: 




City Archives 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_072 


[illustration annotation:] 

The End of the False Creek Trail, 1860 

This is the mouth of Mackie Creek. High Tide. Cottage was on high ground behind. Trading sloop at 

A watercolour by Edgar Bloomfield, Esq., K.C., 1901. Broken Indian dug-out. Shed was at end of wharf. 

The Royal Engineers opened trails leading north, south, east and west from the capital of British 
Columbia established at New Westminster. One of these, now Kingsway, led to False Creek. There has 
been various opinions as to the location of the False Creek end. The only place between Main and 
Granville streets where, on the south shore of False Creek, a feasible boat landing could have been at 
the end of a forest trail, was about one hundred yards west of Ash street produced, on the sloping 
beach — an old Indian clearing — on the east bank of the mouth of Mackie Creek. From Main St. to beyond 
Cambie St, a shallow muddy shore was the fringe of an impassable swamp or muskeg, flooded at high 
tide, extending south to Sixth Ave. To the west, from the west bank of the mouth of Mackie Creek, the cliff 
rose fifteen to fifty feet perpendicularly; the sand bar, now Granville Island, prevented safe approach, and 
was without drinking water for men or horses. Pioneers and Indians don't camp where they have to climb 
cliffs, nor wade through swamp to reach their camp fires. Further, Mackay Creek flowed through a ravine 
sixty or more feet deep, and was an effectual barrier needless to cross when an ideal canoe and boat 
landing, used for ages, by Indians, already existed,, and made the effort unnecessary. The original 
intention appears to have been to extend the trail to the anchorage off the Admiralty Reserve, our Jericho, 
inside Spanish Banks, where British warships sheltered, and thus provide sailors and others with a 
means of reaching New Westminster on foot. It is supposed that when it was found that an excellent 
natural landing existed, and even more sheltered, and nearer, that the futility of the expense and arduous 
effort of extending the trail beyond salt water at the foot of Ash street became evident. East of Main St. 
the trail kept to south of the elevation of Twelfth Ave and Kingsway. It circled the hump of land, came 
through the hollow, gradually descending, as waterways indicated, but keeping on solid ground about 
Seventh Ave, ending on the sloping shore and deep water just north of Sixth Ave, and a few yards west of 
Ash St, where I lived for three years, 1899-1902. The forest, distant centre, is False Creek Indian 

All Fairview was forest. Here loggers landed from canoes, and stern wheel tow boats brought oats, hay 
and barley for the oxen at Jerry Roger's logging camp in the muskeg, now Douglas Park, where elk once 
roamed. The sinuous skid road, with its effluvial dog-fish skid oil, led uphill from the rollway to many silent 
forest glades, now Shaughnessy Heights and Little Mountain. A tiny wharf and a sheltering roof protected 
groceries from the weather. Then men came, felled the forest; named the clearing "FAIRVIEW." The old 
dock and its shed became the bathing rendezvous for the boys and girls of early days in Mount Pleasant; 
beside it, a patch of grassy sward, soft to their bare feet — the old rollway — served for their gambols. A 
white washed cottage, of board and batten, a flower and vegetable garden; hens which laid eggs in a 
stump; a cow which grazed where it could find grass; all these comprised the Matthews home. Their 
Indian dug-out was on the beach. J.S. Matthews. Sept 1950 

See maps "10 T 1" and "17 T 1," "Roads & Trails," Lands & Works, Victoria, circa 1860. "Trail to False 


Survey of "C.P.R. Townsite," Vancouver and Fairview, and also "Granville 

In May 1950, as the result of a diligent search which included the Land Registry, Vancouver; the Lands 
Department, Victoria, and the Land Department C.P.R. Vancouver, there was finally discovered six field 
survey note books belonging to Mr. L.A. Hamilton. They were discovered by Mr. Harry Dunbar, Chief 
Clerk, C.P.R. Land Department, in that department, and were presented by Mr. C.W. McBain, Land 
Agent, to Major Matthews, City Archivist. 

Major Matthews ordered a suitable case, with gold lettering on the back, made for them. 

Close examination of them has not been made, but it is clear — from what little has been done — that the 
first field survey note books were destroyed, Vancouver, 13 June 1886 — Mr. Hamilton so writes, "All my 
papers." Evidently, the fire destroyed the wooden pegs or stakes (he must have used them because 
Hamilton reports driving a stake with a nail in the top), and it was essential to go over the whole survey 
and replace the wood stakes with "iron posts" — as shows "I. P." in the field survey note books. 

J.S. Matthews 

31 May 1950. 




Vay 12 Lh, 1950 

Kajor J.H.KatUiews, V.n, 
Clly Art:>]lvliit, 
City liall, 
Va;ict»uver, :-.C. 

Dear f'ajor; 

Kr. Harry Bunbtir, Chlaf Jlerk Iri the Land 

DepHrtn-e-it,Kin) !; ir followed our correa loniii-ncij about thr. early 

survi^ys vith ^ ri!at Intcrt-ntp haa .i^-w unt^aithed iu an 4ibRcur4i 
coriirr, alx surveyors' n. te books. 

In one of vht note books a pAper slip bearing the 
Ittter "»" wirks a laf.e showlni; that on July Jth.lSSft.iin iron 
port wasi pi 'fitea on Uie rvirth ^ftst angltj of Block 26 ;S*W* corner 
Ha?itln^;a and Hamilton 5tr4'-eta), 

In another book « wtiita allp hearing tha li;ttsr "B" 
mflrks :d ;ia|^e evl>>i:ntly akctchbd October 29/36^ stiowinj an iron 
pott planted on thiit ilate at tht- anuthwest comer of Hamilton 
and He-jtings ^»treets. 

Why tht: Iron post waa planted twice in hard to 8uy . 

The sequence of * vei^tn Bf^e'^3 to h^vc b< on ^s 
fol lowt ^- 

Plan of Fi:jVBy Bi;ntd, A^irll fith, IftSb. 

Fire, June 13th, 18du. 

I. P. July Atti, ISib. 

I.r. Oct. 29th, 1886. 

r.omf timt iireTlous to Apt 11 8th,1886,Mr.Han!lltmi 
mu?t hovr drlirtn tli first, r^o^t - probably a wootlen om 'hich 
was likely burned In the fire. 

I t.i,iiT^ Iv vfis not until 1884 that 
Van Home met. the Prefer of tiiS rrovir.ct; t.o discuas tjif. a^kinj; 
of a Grant to tf^e 1 allway of the pri !n;nt ^Ue of Vancouver to 
indues the Railway to build fro* Tort Moody into Vancouver. 

The exact date of th.. driving of the first st«k« is atill 
Indefinite out ;.huru seec>a to be no aoubt xi. jill"tWL tin stake 
wa? drlyi^n at tSie j^fcUHi jje^t ;orn<r, .-*ereas l-i >lr. Han 11 ton's 
letter tO you from Florid* th- ^th of Hay 1935 where he writes 
"The corjur post !ro*n wi.lcli th - survey of tb« /Aty of 
Vsneouver stJirtod was pliinted viJtl. a cert-Hin amount of cerenony 
at the <-orrier of Hatitincs dnd Hanlltoii StrMit." hs Joes :iot say 
whtthcr it was the south e;)ot or tin; south • eat ;!ornei . 

I have received the copy of letter froai the 
CorrorE.ticn of LiKu Purveyors datsd S >;''y,1950, una If you will 
sr nJ BC a jiketch of a brbnse plaqus cif a site to flv. into . ht 
space on t^v ciank bui dinj;, with wording: U^^t scetta to you tc 
be suitable, with a riuotation ii!* to ti.< cost, : ultl tnke tlie 
iutt«r u;i with tl.L Conpa. y. 

Mr. Ball He thinks tUr nlaqno siiould aention Hamilton 
and the Canadje^ Pacific: ::ailw»y which I have no iouLt is In 
your mind. 

The note books contain a lot of information about t^e 

post ine of any down town cornora arid a rtferBTict to tjn old 

Vancouver Hotel site, 1 tliliis yi;u will find full of Items 
of intsrerrt. 

I eitclotte a co:>y of a letter written (n longhand 2nd 
;.'ovfc ter 1586, and signed hj L.A.KsaiUon, to :r. I.G.Ogdan then 
nUdltor of t^ie Csnadi an Pacific Iiall ay Coirpany nt Montreal, 
Till! letter '"now-s that all tht rerordn of !;t:B sales u;i 
to June l3Ui were destroyed by the fire on that day, as yiJi. .-.Ire >ay 

I know you will !>e glad to h iva t , old records for 
the drchlvsa. 

iifcht r< I id- , 

i, .nd At:ent.. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_073 


[Letter from L.A. Hamilton to I.G. Ogden.] 

Vancouver, B.C. 

2"^^ November 1886 

I.G. Ogden, Esqr., 

Canadian Pacific Railway 
Montreal, Que. 

Dear sir: 

I find another error in the Report-Sales of Vancouver lots for months of May and June. 
Date of purchase of Lots 1 & 2 Block 26 Lot 541 should be May 31 — not May 5 — and due dates 
should be Dec. 1/86 and June 1/87, not Nov. 1/86 and May 1/87. 

You are no doubt aware that all our records of land sales up to 1 3**^ June were destroyed 
by fire on that day and the Registers have been compiled under serious difficulties, so that it has 
been almost impossible to avoid a few mistakes of a similar character to that above noted. 

Yours truly 

L.A. Hamilton 

Asst. Land Commissioner 

The above letter was written in longhand. 


Canabian Ipacific IRailwa? (Eompanip 



Granville Street, 



of Nelson St.), $ 

1250 : Others, 


(( it 


(South of Nelson St), 

1000 " 




1250 " 


Cordova " 


1250 " 




coo " 


Dunsmuir " 


$750 ; 

Inside Lots, between Dunsmuir and Lane 





ii Ki ti 

Georgia and Dunsmuir' . 





" it U 

Robson and Georgia . . 





11 ti ,1 

Smith and Robson . . 





11 11 11 

Nelson and Smith 


Helmcken " 



It II 44 

Helmcken and Nelson 





44 11 11 

Davie and Helmcken , . 






Drake and Davie . . " . 





11 {1 11 

Pacific and Drake 



Payments one-third cash, one-third in six months, and one-third in twelve months, with 
interest at 6 per cent, per annum. 

A discount from the purchase price will be allowed if buildings are erected by the 
purchaser within one year as follows : 

For buildings on each lot, worth $2000 or over, 20 per cent. 
For buildings on ^ch lot worth $5000 or o\'cr, 30 per cent 

Rebates to be deducted from the payment first succeeding the completion of the buildings ; 
but in case two or more lots arc taken, only the lot or lots actually built upon shall be entitled 
to the rebate. 

Parties erecting permanent buildings-to the satisfaction of the Agent of the Trustees, will 
be accorded an extension of time on the second and third payments at his discretion, but not 
exceeding two years. 

For lots that have been cleared by the Company the purchaser will be required to pay 
the net 90st of clearing in addition to the list price 

I The Agent of the Trustees claims the right to depart at any time from this schedule of 

I prices and conditions of sale. 

I Vai 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_074 


Vancouver, June ist, 1886. 


Agent for Trustees 





Cirr HALL 



First aerial survey of Vancouver, 1933 or 1934 by His Worship the mayor and 
Aldermen and City officials. 

Conversation with former Alderman William J. Twiss, at the Vancouver Pioneers' Association picnic to 
Nanaimo, on board S.S. Princess Joan, Wednesday, 7 June 1950. 

Major Matthews: Last February 28* I went up there (pointing towards Howe Sound) with all the 

Council and City officials. There must have been 20 or 30 of us, and we went up 
Howe Sound, over Squamish, around Black Tusk, Mount Garibaldi, back around 
Point Atkinson, up to loco, over to New Westminster, and back down river to the 
Airport. They said it was the first aerial flight survey ever made. Do you think it was? 

Mr. W.J. Twiss: "Nooo. Why, it was while I was chairman of the Airport Committee of the Council, we 

had a similar flight. We went up Howe Sound, around Garibaldi, down the Seymour 
Valley, over New Westminster, and back to Sea Island. 

"We had to make two trips of it as the plane was not sufficiently commodious for all 
to go on one trip." 

Major Matthews: Well, the Province newspaper sponsored the trip last February 28*, and they 
promulgated right and left that it was the first full-scale aerial survey made in 
Vancouver's civic history. 

Mr. W.J. Twiss: "What do they mean by full-scale?" 


Item # EarlyVan_v7j 


[photo annotation:] 

Miss Isobel Ogilvie Hamilton raised tlie Union Jacl< wliicli veils the bronze commemorative panel to her 
father, Lauchlan Alexander Hamilton; Major J.S. Matthews, who designed it. On April 20* 1 953, at the 
Stanley Park Pavilion, and in the presence of 100 pioneers "here before the train," 23 May 1887, and 
others, in banquet assembled as guests of the Park Commissioners. 

City Archives. 

[Letter from J.S. Matthews to Isobel O. Hamilton.] 

"What a mighty man was L.A. Hamilton. He laid out this great city when it was nothing save forest." 

Dean Swanson, Christ Church Cathedral, Sermon, Sunday evening, 8 January 1950. Dean Swanson said 
I said that to him. Perhaps I did; it must be so, but I don't recall when or where. 

At home, late Sunday evening. 

Jan. 8'^ 1950. 

Dear Miss Hamilton: 

The new City Council, Parks Board and School Board have just taken office for the new 
Year, and, according to custom, attended church; this time in the evening — tonight. I have just 
returned to my home, and am typing this before going to bed. I want you to have it at once. 

The Mayor, Aldermen, Park Commissioners and School Trustees, and the higher civic 
officials, together with their wives and daughters, sat in the front of the Cathedral in reserved 
seats. The Dean's sermon was such as is suitable for the ears of men with their cares and 
responsibilities, and he was commenting upon the age — the long long years — of some cities as 
compared with Vancouver, and our astonishment that this great community of half a million 
persons, with its monumental buildings, luxurious offices, beautiful homes and green lawns is not 
yet 65 years old. He was speaking of the vision, the courage, and the energy of our founders, 
"The Builders" of Vancouver, and counselling that we, in our day, emulate their conception of the 
future of Vancouver. 

It was then that he used the sentence: "What a mighty man was L.A. Hamilton, he laid 
out this great city when all was forest." 

I wonder if he knew that your dear Father was Treasurer of the Anglican Synod for so 
many years. I imagine he must. But, it was very inspiring to me to hear that tribute to your Father. 
And, mind you, a vast radio audience was listening — all over British Columbia. 

With my deep respects. 

Most sincerely, 


Miss Isobel O. Hamilton, 
Lome Park, Ont. 


Hermit Island and Mickey Island: naming of, in whose honour, when, and by whom. 

Conversation, over the phone, with Mrs. S.F.C. Sweeny, nee Isabel Bell-Irving, of 2595 Bellevue Avenue, 
West Vancouver, 22 October 1951 . 

Major Matthews: Mrs. Sweeny, I have just received a letter from Mr. W.H. Hutchinson, Chief Geographer, 
Department of Lands, Victoria. May I read it? 

(Reads, that on 4 October 1951, the Canadian Board on Geographic Names, Ottawa, had authorised the 
names "Hermit Island" and "Mickey Island," in place of Golby and Weyburn. The islands are at the west 
entrance to Howe Sound.) 

Mickey Island it is, Mrs. Sweeny. 

Mrs. Sweeny: "I'm thrilled. Mickey Island it is." (Short conversation follows.) "And I suppose you know how 
Hermit Island got its name. Mickey" (Malcolm McBean Bell-Irving, D.S.O., her brother) "and I named it." 

Major Matthews: How long ago would that be, Mrs. Sweeny? 

Mrs. Sweeny: "Oh, let me see. Forty, forty, at least forty years ago. Mickey and I used to go over from our 
Pasley Island and visit the old hermit; so we called it "Hermit Island." I don't know his name. He was a 
great big man about six feet three, and about seventy-five or eighty years old. He had lived there for 
perhaps thirty years. Wonderful old man. He lived in a shack built by himself; it was no bigger than a big 
dog kennel. And he had seal skulls arranged all about it in order. He had a dugout canoe he had made 
himself. He used to catch seals. He killed the seals, ate the flesh, put the skulls around his cabin, and put 
the oil in his canoe, with the result that one could smell his canoe 'a mile away.' He came from Norway. 
He was a very definite personality. Mickey and I used to go over and visit him. We made friends with him. 
He was very shy — like a wild thing — but he did not mind us. We made friends with him and he used to 
bring us — to our island" (Pasley Island) " — all kinds offish. I don't know where he got them; red cod, and 
other kinds; all prepared ready to eat. Once only did we get him to have a meal with us; just once we 
succeeded, but he did not enjoy it; he was not happy." 

Hermit Island. Mickey Island. 

"He had been a clergyman in Norway; a young clergyman; had had a sad love affair; came away and 
never went back. He must have been an enormous man when he was young. He was all bent when we 
knew him, but he was still over six feet. 

"His canoe was a dugout, but he could sail it, and when he could not sail it he stood up and pushed it with 
a sweep" (oar) "so that he could see where he was going. I think that is a Norwegian custom. He used to 
sing Norwegian songs as he pushed along in his canoe. I am sorry I never learned his name. 

"He made his money, whatever money he needed for groceries and other things, by trapping mink on the 
islands at the west entrance to Howe Sound. 

"During the first war" (1914-1918) "his body was found on the shore of Ragged Island. He had been 

Note: after being typed, this was read, over the phone, to Mrs. Sweeny, and approved. 

22 October 1951. J.S. Matthews 


Sons of His Worship the late L.D. Taylor, Theodore ("Ted") Pierce Taylor, 5301 
Lexington Avenue; Kenneth Osborne Taylor, 1215 North Hobart Street, 
Hollywood 27, California, U.S.A. 

This afternoon, 14 June 1946, two middle-aged gentlemen called at the City Archives and I immediately 
recognised one of them. Ken, as His Worship's son whom I had met twice previously — last year — when, 
in the uniform of the United States Army (sergeant) he visited the City Archives with his father. The other, 
"Ted," I had not met before. They are remaining in Vancouver for a few days in connection with their 
father's estate, and are residing in his old apartment. Room No. 213, Granville Mansions, corner Granville 
and Robson streets. 

Mr. "Ted" Taylor told me that he had been married, but hinted that all was not well with his marital status. 
However, he added, "I have a daughter, Mary Louise, who lives with me at 5301 Lexington Avenue, 
Hollywood, California." Mr. "Ken" Taylor is unmarried. 

We spent most of the afternoon — about two hours — talking. I told them much of their father, Mr. Taylor, 
his trials, triumphs and tribulations, and was careful to emphasise that had it not been for him in 1933 
when he was Mayor, there may not have been an archives department in Vancouver at all. I explained 
that it was the only institution of its kind operated by a city in Canada; had done a great deal of good; that 
enquiries were repeatedly received as to how it was operated from other cities, and that much which has 
happened in Vancouver of recent years could not have happened had it not been in existence. I told them 
that I had once said to their father that if he had done nothing else during his eleven years as chief 
magistrate and had merely done one thing, i.e., establish the City Archives — or enable me to do it — that it 
would have been of sufficient importance to justify his eleven years in office. 

I showed them the records we had kept, and they were very much interested; indeed, it seemed that I did 
all the talking and explaining. They were most attentive and interested and said I should hear more from 
them. They said that, so far as they knew, their father died a comparatively poor man. 

During the conversation Ken sat in his father's old chair, and I showed them one of their father's famous 
cigars he had given me, and also a photo taken on 5 April, beside me, his last photo at his last public 
luncheon. I referred to the great concourse of people who, ten deep on both sides of Georgia Street, 
watched the cortege go by on the day of the funeral. They told me that they intended to give the oil 
portrait of their father to the City, but that it was not a very good one, and had been painted from a 
photograph, not from life. 

Altogether the visit was most cordial and pleasant, and Miss Klemm provided us all with cups of tea and 
cake at my desk. She was the only other person present. 

J.S. Matthews 


City Archives 

City Hall 

14 June 1946. 


Wak ChoTigjGmnvillp.'BuTyarfi I^ lgL IBRi^. 

Th'iS[!^ionegT^nm\lLj Q jEtJttat.JTT.tgt: 

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. Ca-mh i fc Hasfrngs nrid CnttaW sttpp.K bi| a ImP qJ tall ^aYe^t-tto e t., The fo.rfhhvMpy fn,; 

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bassed . ttf Q-nd flO ggoSS thl S Mtiewaik. u^oti wh><-h thg ChQt,» j»>^ U y a^r «;p» he^.. Th ■ ^ 
buUd-irtg is shown i-n th&weU kna^u-n ^boho "GfaWtlleRl" c itcaia^i^ and.ungJef'tWetiut,. 
bat"!". ^ge."EQ.i-[yVaTicouvet','h\cLtl:hews Vol.5 -fTOtillispiece. lH is wh^ltewa5hed.Wll:hl^nne■ 
Al5Q see pages ^A,f^ i^ q-nd l^a. Tennie Wah Chong was thg f rtst Otie-ntal to atlrgncijirhfloi. 
See"EQTtY Va-rtCQUVef" Vol. y^ ^ Rfi. The bwo-rnfeiL wear ^-.gtti'ils bub 1-he ij Qfe -noNiWiUR. 
See bhoto Disb. M. 6,T?y6. SefotP tbis hhg^mg old. Chma-m aTL had, n lau-ndrij at: Hathitrgj; 

TowTisit£,Lg.,"tJte end of thetQO fJ", IL woulef seemtha.t! oboue i RSii. probay vf August:, a. 
btiotogfabheir vis'ited. GtQ.'nvlli& q-nd took the s.PvgYQ.1 \weU kwown. hhotogtabh*^. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_076 


[photo annotation:] 

Wah Chong, Granville, Burrard Inlet. 1884. 

This pioneer family of Burrard Inlet lived on the south side of Water St midway between Abbott and 
Carrall Sts. At the back of this dwelling was a forest clearing, twenty acres in extent, and enclosed along 
Gamble, Hastings and Carrall streets by a line of tall forest trees. The fourth side was a muddy beach. 
The clearing behind was a tangle of blackberry vines, skunk cabbage and impassable forest debris 
intersected by one or two narrow paths. At night, deer passed to and fro across this sidewalk upon which 
the Chong family are seated. This building is shown in the well known photo "Granville, B.I.," circa 1884, 
and under the number "I." see "Early Vancouver," Matthews, Vol. 5, frontispiece [of original volume.] It is 
whitewashed with lime. Also see pages 4A, 7, 13, and 133 [of original volume.] Jennie Wah Chong was 
the first Oriental to attend school, see "Early Vancouver," Vol. 4, p. 138 [of original volume.] Jhe two men 
wear pigtails, but they are not visible. See photo Dist. N. 6, P. 76. Before this the fine old Chinaman had a 
laundry at Hastings Townsite, i.e., "the end of the road." It would seem that, about 1884, probably August, 
a photographer visited Granville and took the several well known photographs. 

City Archives. J.S.M. 

Chinese Theatre, Chinatown. 

My first visit to the Chinese Theatre in Chinatown, Vancouver, was in the winter of 1 898. 

Precisely how we got to it I cannot tell. We turned off Hastings Street and went south on Carrall Street. 
Then, at some point, we turned into an alley between old wooden buildings. There were no lights. It was 
pitch dark and raining. The wooden planks on which we walked were wet. None of the nearby buildings 
were painted and appeared as black silhouettes. We turned one or two corners upon which, above our 
heads three or five feet, a single eight candle power electric carbon bulb glowed in the encircling gloom. 
Where we were going I did not know, but my guide kept on going — I followed. We passed shadows of 
men going out — some overtook us going in. There was nothing startling, nothing to be alarmed at. It was 
simply a poorly lighted entrance. One might compare it with going with a lantern to the woodshed or the 

We paid a small entrance fee — ten cents, or perhaps as high as a quarter, certainly no more. Inside we 
climbed an equally ill lighted stairway of wood, carpetless, unpainted, and in the gloom seemingly 
begrimed with tobacco smoke. We found ourselves in a balcony overlooking the "pit" below, and the 
stage beyond. In the balcony we sat on backless benches. Drably dressed Chinamen were sitting, loosely 
grouped, on every bench. It was not crowded and every now and again one would come in and one 
would go out. There seemed no special moment of entrance or departure. All wore their pigtails. All wore 
dark collarless coats fastened with knots, not buttons. Below, in the pit, were a similarly conducted 
audience, not by any means crowded. It seemed that the Chinese theatre-goers came and went as they 
wished. There were no ushers — the audience merely stayed and departed at their own will. 

The stage was oblong as all stages. A number of actors were walking about it, others were sitting. Some 
musicians were beating or banging instruments we did not recognise. Some seemed to be brass pans; 
others, wooden pillars on which the musicians beat with sticks. It was an "awful racket." I asked my 
Chinese guide if he liked Chinese music or European music best, and he replied that he liked one as well 
as the other — it was what one was accustomed to. We watched the actors in their coloured (looked like 
silk) gowns strut about, and, to our ears, jabber their lines. What the play was about we did not know. 
Actors came in, others went out, and the chatter sounded like endless gobble-gobble-gobble. After an 
hour or more, the play apparently proceeding as merrily as ever, we left quietly. We were told the play 
would go on for months — the same play. The Chinese audiences seemed deeply interested and attentive, 
but to those accustomed to the Vancouver Opera House, it was about as gloomy, ill-lighted, and dreary a 
den as could be imagined. 

The old theatre was destroyed by fire 29 November 1 947. It had long fallen into disuse. 

J.S. Matthews 

4 December 1947. 



v7 077 

[photo annotation:] 


Vancouver Fire Brigade, 1895. No. 1 Fire Hall, south side Water St, about 66 feet from Carrall St. On the 
site of the Granville Townsite "Customs House" and "Court House." The steam power fire engine, known 
as the "M.A. MacLean," in honor of the first Mayor of Vancouver. It reached Vancouver soon after the Fire 
of 13 June 1886, and all firemen gathered around it, lifted it up in the air, while Mrs. J.H. Carlisle, wife of 
the Fire Chief, broke a bottle of wine over it, and named it. At the first test, with sea water on the Cambie 
street wharf, a stream from the nozzle struck His Worship and Alderman Thomas Dunn, chairman of the 
Fire Committee. Quite accidental, of course; all firemen were volunteers. Hugh E. Campbell, living in 
Vancouver, 1956, is seated on the hose reel with which Vancouver volunteer firemen won the 
championship of the Pacific coast hose reel speed tests atTacoma in 1889. Fire Chief Carlisle is standing 
by hose reel; Wm McGirr (whiskers), by engine (see companion photo) City Archives. J.S.M. 

Gabriel ("Gaby") Thomas, son of Gabriel Thomas, pioneers, 1886. 

On 25 August 1950, "Gaby" Thomas, the son, known as "Gaby" to distinguish him from his father, Gabriel 
Thomas, called at the City Archives and told me he was living "at the same old place," 114 North Springer 
Street, Burnaby. He gave me two or three old photos — one of himself, as a young man of 18, in the 
uniform of the Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade, 1 889; one of the Oriental Hotel, Water Street, in which 
his father was part proprietor, and one of the Alert Hose Reel Team, taken September 1889, of the 
Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade, which made so splendid a name for itself at the International Fire 
Tournament, Tacoma, 16 to 19 inclusive, September 1889. He also gave me a gold medallion, presented 
to the team by the people of Vancouver, on the back of which is engraved, "TACOMA. G. THOMAS. 

25 August 1950. 

Gabriel Thomas. "Gaby" Thomas. Alert Hose Reel Team. Vancouver Volunteer Fire 
Brigade. Tacoma, Washington. 

"Gaby" Thomas: "I reached Victoria on the Queen of the Pacific, and she stayed there. We came on to 
Vancouver on the Yosemite, and got here 21^' September 1886. I was sixteen years old. Mother and my 
sister, Mrs. Crean — her name was Elizabeth — she married John Crean afterwards, and is still living, down 
in California at Hollywood. Father came here just after the 'Fire,' 13"^ June 1886. He came before the 
other three of us." 

Isaac Johns. Kurtz and Co., cigars. Chris Behnsen. 

"Father and I went down Abbott Street to get our furniture cleared through the Customs. Old 'Ike' Johns 
was collector. My father saw a sign next door to where we went — it read 'BOY WANTED.' I got the job 
and worked thirty years for Kurtz and Co., cigar makers on Abbott Street. They moved to Cordova Street 
afterwards. Chris Behnsen was manager. 

"I was married to Miss Emma Wise — Holy Rosary Church. I forget the priest — something like Sayward. It 
was not Father Fay. We have five children living. Mrs. Wise died about thirty years ago. Two sons and 
two daughters all living in Vancouver. William is quite an artist. He was with the Capital Theatre for about 
twenty-five years. Norval!! I don't know where he is. The eldest girl is an invalid now. She is Mrs. Buss; 
she had five boys. The second girl is Alma — Alma Gerrard now. She is a widow; two children — John 
Gerrard, the singer, and Doreen, she married. The third daughter is married. She has two boys. Her 
name is Mrs. Gallie. 

"So that, all told, I have eleven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren." 

Oriental Hotel. 

"About these photographs. This is the Oriental Hotel on Water Street; next door west, south side, to the 
old Regina Hotel which escaped the 'fire,' on the southwest corner of Cambie and Water Street. John 
Crean and Gabriel Thomas (that's my father), proprietors. Father is on the balcony with his hand resting 
on the railing knob. John Crean is in front of the halyards of the flag pole. I don't know who the man in the 
middle is." 

Hotel busses. Horse-drawn busses. James Edwards. 


"'Jimmie' Edwards drove the bus — horse-drawn bus. Met every C.P.R. train and boat, and also Evans, 
Coleman Evans to meet the Joan coming from Nanaimo. That was all the trains and boats there were to 
meet in those days. The bus used to be crowded sometimes and sometimes had to return for those they 
could not pick up the first trip. 

"The first Oriental was the tall building in the middle with gable end roof; then it was extended to the west, 
but, on the east side, what appears to be an extension is actually only a store front — a blank wall for 
show. The lower part is the saloon, what we call beer parlour now." 

Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade, 1 889. Alert Hose Reel Team. 

"This is the Alert Hose Reel Team, Vancouver, Volunteer Fire Brigade, which went to Tacoma and 'licked' 
the whole world in the speed test. There were four races. We won two firsts and two seconds. The 
manager of the team was Mr. McKenzie. He is the man with all the whiskers. The captain was Tom Lillie, 
on the extreme right holding the horn. Jim Moran, at the other end, was 'swamper'" (man of all jobs.) "The 
Fire Hall is No. 1 Fire Hall, built in 1886 on Water Street, south side, just west of Carrall. I was the 
youngest member of the team. There are two only of us left now — Hugh E. Campbell and myself. We all 
got gold medals when we came back." 

"Gaby" Thomas. Thomas Lillie. Huge E. Campbell. Alert Hose Reel Team uniform. 

"This last photo is of myself, one of the two survivors of the lots. Hugh Campbell is the other. I was 
eighteen then. 

"The cap had a peak, and was blue. The shirt was dark blue — the braiding was white. It was Billy McGirr's 
'outfit' which had red shirts. That was the Hook and Ladder Team, but we were Hose Reel, and our shirts 
were blue. You can see my watch chain hanging in my belt. A nosegay is pinned to my breast. I don't 
know what the buttons were." 

Alert Hose Reel Team at Tacoma, September 1 889. Hose reel. 

"The hose reel had two hundred and fifty feet of two and one half inch hose — cotton covered. There were 
four races at Tacoma. They were: 

1 . Wet test: Run 200 yards, lay 250 feet hose and fill with water. Take the time from 

when the water shoots from the nozzle. 

2. Dry test: Same thing without water. 

3. Speed test: Run two hundred and fifty yards without laying hose. That's what we 

broke the world's record on. 

4. Championship race: Run two hundred and fifty yards, lay three hundred feet of hose and draw 

water. Cut off water. Take joint next to the nozzle back to the hydrant and 
fill with water. Let me explain. In two hundred and fifty feet of hose there 
are six joints because the hose is in fifty foot lengths. The idea is to 
uncouple the length near the nozzle, take it back to the hydrant, and put 
the length from the nozzle in its place. Then take the hydrant length and 
put it where the nozzle length came from. Then you have your three 
hundred feet of hose all complete again, but one length has been altered, 
back to front and front to back. 

Gold medallion. 

"This gold medallion with 'TACOMA, G. THOMAS, 1889' was given to us publicly when we got back." 



Conversation with Mrs. L.B. Thompson, 1855 West 14™ Avenue, nee Annie Maud 
McKay, pioneer, 1889, who kindly called at the archives this morning, 16 
September 1948, bringing with her several old school photographs, one being of 


been copied by photography. 

George McKay. The first C.P.R. station. 

Mrs. Thompson: "The first I recall of Vancouver was the little red C.P.R. station practically surrounded by 
water, and a little wood or coal stove in the centre of the waiting room. I was only about three years old. 
We had just arrived by train from Arnprior, Ontario, that is. Mother and my sister Lottie McKay. Father was 
here building a house to receive us. It was near the present No. 1 Fire Hall on the corner of Gore and 
Cordova Street. It was one storey and a half and it was on the corner of the alley on Gore Avenue. It 
shows on Dakin's Fire Map, sheet 12, as the only building in the block surrounded by Hastings, Cordova, 
Gore and Westminster Avenue. Father dug a well and we got our water from that. I forget how we got it 
up. It must have been by a pump, or else we dragged it up with a rope and a pail. After a couple of years 
we moved over to Keefer Street, to No. 245 I think, or about that, and then later we built a third — next 
door, and the number was 249 Keefer Street. Later on my mother got the little cottage at 253." 


"My father continued in the fuel business. He had horses and hauled wood from the forest — Kitsilano as it 
is called now. He had not to go far to get cordwood in those days. Then he went into the express 
business — express wagon — and continued until, at the age of 60, he died very suddenly, and was buried 
in Mountain View. That would be in 1906. Mother, left a widow, continued to reside in the old home and 
finally the Chinamen from Chinatown on Pender Street encroached so much about us that we moved 
away to Mount Pleasant. In 1 889 that part of Vancouver east of Westminster Avenue was quite a high 
class residential district. Lots of the best people lived down there but as time went on it deteriorated and 
was not so nice a district as formerly. Our home in Mount Pleasant was on the corner of 1 o"^ and St. 
George Street. Mother died about 1 940 or 1 941 and is buried beside Father." 


"I went to school, first, at the Oppenheimer Street school — Miss Fletcher, teacher. My sister, Lottie, was 
five years older than me. My brother, George, in the photo of the Oppenheimer Street school I am giving 
you, was born in the first house we lived in on Gore Avenue and was four years younger. He was killed in 
action at Hill 60 in the first World War while serving with Engineers. It was December 22"^^, but what year I 
forget. He was never married. He was 29 when killed. Lottie married and is now Mrs. G.D. Weatherbie, 
441 1 East Pender. She has two married children, son and daughter, but they do not live in Vancouver. I 
was married in 1905 at our house. Rev. Mr. McLeod. We belonged to the Presbyterian Church. Lottie was 
married in the little old church below Westminster Avenue, on the lane corner on Cordova Street, 
afterwards called Knox Church. Her husband was Mr. L.B. Thompson, from Seaforth, Ontario. He is away 
visiting his relatives there now. I have one son, Lome Beattie Thompson, now 34, living at 4575 West 
15*^. His wife was Miss Lillie Cox and they have one son, now three years, Lome Charles Thompson." 


Conversation with Mrs. Neville J. Townsend, daughter of Henry J. Cambie, 
celebrated civil engineer of canadian pacific railway in british columbia, friday, 
19 August 1949. 

Mr. A. P. Home, of 4025 Granville Street, pioneer, 1889, had invited me to afternoon tea on his lawn, and 
Mrs. Townsend was also a guest — ^just three of us. I accompanied Mrs. Townsend, by electric bus, part of 
the way to her home in the "West End," where she resides at 2050 Barclay Street, the old Sir Charles H. 
Tupper home. While we were having tea, Mrs. Townsend made several historical remarks. 

Steam boat on the Fraser. The Skuzzy. "Hell's Gate." Capt. J.W. Troup. 

Mrs. Townsend: "I was a girl at the time, but I can remember it very, very distinctly. People say I cannot, 
but I say I can. They say there never was a steam boat on the Fraser above Yale, but I know there was 
because I was there when it was launched. I don't know where it was, but it was above a big tunnel, and 
Captain Troup was there. They had built it right there and were launching it. Afterwards they had a terrible 
time getting it up through Hell's Gate. They got ropes and tied them to the rocks or trees, and they pulled 
her through Hell's Gate at last. I cannot remember her name." 

Major Matthews: That was the Skuzzy, I think. 

Mrs. Townsend: (ejaculating) "Yes, that's the name! Skuzzy. Skuzzy was her name. I did not see her go 
through Hell's Gate, but I saw her launched." 

Major Matthews: I read about the wedding at St. Francis-in-the-Woods, Caulfield the other day. Was the 
groom your only son? 

Mrs. Townsend: "My only child." 

Tuck, of Tucks, Lulu Island. 

Proceeding towards town in the bus, we passed the home of Mrs. D.C. Tuck, at 1490 Balfour, whose son, 
Douglas Tuck, also was recently married. Mrs. Townsend pointed to the house and remarked: 

"Father and Mr. Tuck were in the House of Commons at Ottawa when the bill passed by which British 
Columbia joined Confederation. They were in the gallery, and as soon as it passed, they, and others of 
their group, began to sing 'God Save the Queen.' Father told me all about it. Mr. Tuck was a civil 
engineer — so was Father, as you know. Well, the Sergeant-at-arms, or someone in authority, came up 
and arrested them. Word down below was that men in the gallery were drunk and disorderly, so they 
were arrested. After they were taken downstairs, the Sergeant-at-arms said they were not drunk, and 
Father and Mr. Tuck admitted it was so. They explained that they were engineers on the construction of 
the Canadian Pacific Railway through British Columbia to the Pacific, and that the passage of the act, 
joining British Columbia to Canada, meant years and years of work for them — hence their jubilation. So 
the Sergeant-at-arms said it was all right and let them go." 

Major Matthews: Do you mean D.C. Tuck's father or grandfather? D.C. Tuck died recently — you must 
mean his grandfather. 

Mrs. Townsend: "No, not his grandfather, his father. Mr. Tuck was only the same age as I am." 


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wh i ch MVeifd oil NoTth VritlCQllvfir. J.n-nd cost: oiTP dollaf be7^t&. At^on^Nml le^ Mh 
whflh^-novf L Qiasdnle AvP to 13^^ swurug we=;t , j=olio v ved.You9hfy7nQhnTi A^^;WQ.^qmrpHo.;ptf^ 

TT L QStj.tiitQ Cteek on Lot •^2,-D.L..aa^. ft adio'iTied w hat- in 1^5^ J^kTiov^Ti ajsramjonHplghts: 
The ascent of Gfousatnnunllain tnolc three day*;- n- netnTtythnHV.Qne t-Qthatoh a-wf4 nT7P 

■ays; Q-netoTtythallV^Qne t-Qthatn ^janfj htip 

dgyinggQ i -n . hthefenif. The clEafm^ wa^just: hplf^ w whe-fe theGtou-^efnoimtnluSWi Llfh 
flp . Tin l t-rciTnY i av .sroilis. William J.Try thaH feached Vn-nrni,ivpr jtnin fnglo-nd 2iiij-ne_i88a. 
Ht? -f oun ded. TYuhha II ^ Son. v^T•ml:P■■^q g-gd afmtLed i he. ;H si: Vg-ncouvet 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_078 


[photo annotation:] 

Arthur Tinniswood Dalton, F.R.G.S. mountaineer, and former Assessment Commissioner, City of 
Vancouver, said, Oct. 4, 1953: - "I started to climb Grouse Mountain about 1895. Avery poor trail led up 
what is now Lonsdale Ave; you were considered quite skillful if you could keep on it; we called it "Pig 
Alley," some Chinamen kept pigs. It took us a day to get to "Trythall's Gash"; another day to the top, and 
a third day to come down, - three days. Trythall had slashed about two acres, and built a poor log cabin; 
no door, we often stayed there a day to rest. It was two or three hundred feet under "Trythall's Creek," 
now called "Mosquito Creek." About 1400 feet.f] 

This photo was taken by Mr. Dalton in 1902. City Archives. J.S.M. 

Trythall's Clearing, North Vancouver, 1 902. It was about two acres of slashed timber and a poor log cabin 
sunk in a great wilderness of primeval forest which covered all North Vancouver. Land cost one dollar per 
acre. A poor trail led up what is now Lonsdale Ave to 13"^, swung west, followed roughly Mahon Ave; was 
quite close to Mosquito Creek on Lot 32, D.L. 883. It adjoined what in 1953 is known as "Canyon 
Heights." The ascent of Grouse Mountain took three days; one to Trythall's; one to the top, and one down 
again to the ferry. The clearing was just below where the Grouse Mountain Ski Lift aerial tramway starts. 
William J. Trythall reached Vancouver from England 21 June 1888. He founded Trythall & Son, printers, 
and printed the first Vancouver directory, 1888. 

Conversation with Mrs. Roy Trythall, of Irvine's Landing, Pender Harbour, B.C., 


North Vancouver. 

Wm. J. Trythall, pioneer. 

Mrs. Trythall: "I was born in Plymouth, England, and first came to Vancouver in 1905 when I was 
fourteen. Then I came a second time in 1 91 1 and married Mr. Roy Trythall at the First Baptist Church, 
Nelson Street. I have five children — four living. They are, in order of birth, Edwin, Gwendoline, Dorothy 
(deceased), Roy and Joyce. Edwin has a flower shop in West Vancouver; Gwendoline is Mrs. Templeton, 
in Edmonton. Roy is the dentist, and Joyce is Mrs. Grimwood. All of the original Trythall family are 
deceased excepting Mrs. E. Victor Smith, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. J. Trythall, the original 
pioneer. She is in Portland, Oregon." 


"When I first came in 1905 we sometimes went to Trythall's Clearing. You see, my father, Joseph 
Willoughby, of Plymouth, was nephew of Mrs. William J. Trythall. Her name had been Willoughby and my 
name was Willoughby. My mother, my sister and myself stayed in Vancouver for one year while my father 
went to Japan. When war broke out he was interned and died there. We never received one single item of 
his possessions — family silverware and so forth. Then, in 1906, my mother, sister and I went to Japan; 
then, after we had been in Japan two years, we went back to England. My sister had to go to school. My 
mother died in England and my sister and myself came to Vancouver. My sister married, several years 
afterwards, a Mr. Milne. He is in Scotland — so is she." 


"Mr. Trythall's cabin was on a ridge. In front of it was a steep bank dropping down to Mosquito Creek. The 
creek circled around so that, on the level of the cabin, it was to the east of it; the falls were to the east of 
the cabin, and, from what I remember, about on the same level as the cabin — about level with it. We had 
to carry our water with pails. After I was married in August, 1 91 1 , we frequently went up there for 
weekends. People climbing Grouse Mountain were always dropping in to get some water to drink, if for 
nothing else, for it was the only water supply until they got to the top. Somewhere nearby below there was 
a winding road where a logger had a cabin. His name was John Cowan, and I think, almost sure, this 
photo. Mount. P. 71 , N. 31 , taken by Mr. Dalton, is the cabin. 

"The Trythall boys had hobbies. Roy, my husband, was the yachtsman; Howard was a bachelor and 
almost always spent his weekends at the cabin. It was always considered his property." 


Trythall's cabin abandoned. 

"Sometime between the two wars — say it would be about 1935 — we went up there one day and found the 
whole cabin had been wrecked by vandals. They had thrown the stove down the bank and it was 
smashed. The logs had been pulled out of the side of the cabin and thrown down the bank. We never 
bothered again — we abandoned it." 

Water Works acquires ten acres. 

"Ten acres, right at the bottom, were sold to the Water Works. They put in a dam and two big water tanks 
for the City of North Vancouver water supply. I have not been up there for fifteen years. The cabin was 
just where the falls were and I fancy the falls must have disappeared — destroyed when they built the 
dam. They were not more than 50 or 75 yards from the cabin and the dam was about the same distance. 
Mr. Trythall's land — as I understood — was long and narrow, and ran right up the hill. He owned 160 acres. 
After his death we lost it for non-payment of taxes. We did not consider it worth keeping." 

Descendents of Mr. and Mrs. Trythall, Senior. 

Six Sturtons 
Three Smiths 
Two Peakes 
Five Trythalls 
One Trythall 
Seventeen in all 


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Item # EarlyVan_v7_079 


Supplementary to Map of Vancouver showing relief situation in 1 934. 

Dear Capt. Twiss: 

I have cautioned the photographer to allow no copies of this map to be made. 

Six copies have been made at a cost of an immense amount of labor and $7.50 cash. 
Hosie has one copy, W.R. Bone has two. I have warned both to be careful who they show them 

I would like to tell you of the comment made by responsible men. 



Note: the reason for secrecy was that Major Matthews did not wish the distressing situation in Vancouver 
to become known abroad. 


The wording of the letter written by Captain George Vancouver, R.N., of H.M.S. 
Discovery, and by Mrs. Jonathan Rogers presented to the Citizens of Vancouver, 
9 July 1946. 

Discovery, Nootka Sound, 
Dear sir. 

October, 2"^ 1794 

By tine Jenny of Bristol wliicli sails this night or tomorrow morning I take the opportunity of 
transmitting to you a set of 2"'^ bills of exchange amounting in all to £1 60.9.9 the first of the same 
tenor and date having been despatched in February last by the Daedalus from Karakakooa Bay 
which I trust ere this reaches old England you must have received. I also beg leave to inform you 
that I have drawn on you three sets of bills of exchange the first for £1 6 s1 6 sterling dated 1 9 May 
payable to the order of Mr. Archibald Menzies, the next for £42 s1 5 dated the 28 May payable to 
the order of Mr. Wm Brown and the other for £1 50 dated 30 September payable to Mr. Hugh 
More all which you will be good enough to accept and place to my account. 

We arrived here this day month all in high health and spirits having truly determined the 
non existence of any water communication between this and the other side of America within the 
limits of our investigation beyond all doubt and disputation hence I expected no further detention 
in this hemisphere, not doubting that the business respecting these territories must have been 
settled a sufficient length of time for a vessel to have arrived by whom we might be relieved and 
proceed on our route towards old England in hopes to partake of some share in the glorious and 
honorable cause her fleets and armies are at present engaged in, but in these expectations we 
were disappointed no vessel having arrived from England to that effect, nor have I received any 
information in answer to my despatches sent home by Mudge and Broughton as I expected by 
way of New Spain but am still in expectation of some news from that quarter as a pacquet was 
waiting in readiness at St Blass to forward the despatches respecting the restitution of this 
country etc but has not yet arrived. Thus you see my good friend I am once more entrap'd in this 
infernal ocean and am totally at a loss to say when I shall be able to quit it and not having it in my 
power to communicate any particular information respecting our voyage I shall only further add 
that your son and all your friends in these vessels are in perfect health though greatly mortified at 
our present detention from a more active station which would be more congenial to our wishes 
than remaining here in a state of unpleasant inactivity. 

A few days after our arrival here I had an opportunity of writing to my brother by way of 
New Spain but in case that letter might miscarry be good enough on the receipt of this to inform 
him of my welfare etc. And believe I am with sincere wishes for the happiness of yourself Mr. 
Sykes and family. 

Yours with great truth 
and friendship 

Geo. Vancouver 


It's coming over Can. Broad. Corp. 1 8*^ May. Whether the Mayor will send the message as written 
I do not know. I have air-mailed McAdam suggesting he invite U.S. Ambassador. 



Sesquicentennial of burial of Captain Vancouver, 18 May 1798-1948. 

City Hall, 

6'^ May, 1948. 

Dear Mr. Sutherland: [Mayor's Secretary] 

The scene, as I see it in my mind's eye, is a solemn procession of dignitaries of church, 
state, and public life, representing Canada, and British Columbia in particular. King's Lynn where 
he was born, Richmond where he was buried, and the City of London itself, all clothed in official 
raiment with gold chains of office, etc., etc., and the clergy in the white habiliments of the Church 
of England, slowly wending its way from St. Peter's Church, Petersham, Surrey, at the conclusion 
of the divine service within the sacred edifice itself. 

You can with me, I think, see the assemblage quietly arrange itself about the grave, 
standing as best they can, beneath the trees on the narrow paths which separate other mounds 
beneath which the forefathers of Richmond sleep. 

The clergyman intones a supplication to the Almighty; the highest dignitary bows to lay 
the wreath about the tomb. Then someone speaks to the assemblage and tells why all have 
come. At this moment, the Agent-General or someone he appoints reads the cable from the 
Citizens of Vancouver, and, my idea is that such cable cannot be worded other than in solemn 
parlance. Hence I drew up this: 

18* May, 1948. 

Agent General, 

British Columbia House 


Beside his graveside upon this solemn sesquicentennial of his burial, the tribute of the 
Citizens of Vancouver, Canada, to the great navigator whose honored name we bear, is 
our prayer that we, in our day, may so conduct our lives that our posterity in turn will be 
equally indebted to us. Please convey our greetings to the Right Honourable the Lord 
Mayor; to the Mayors of King's Lynn and of Richmond, to our fellow Canadians in the 
British Isles, and to all those of gallant England this day assembled to do reverence to 
Captain George Vancouver. 

Note: Acting Mayor Miller cabled this exactly as I wrote it. J.S. Matthews 

Sesquicentennial of burial of Captain Vancouver, 18 May 1798-1948. 

e'^'May, 1948. 

Dear Mr. Mayor: 

Word reached me, somehow, that the Hon. Mr. Sinclair has been indisposed, and is not 
on duty at your City Hall. So, I regret I am unable to address you by name. 

Our Mayor's Secretary asked me to draw up a message to be sent by cable or airmail to 
W.A. McAdam, Esq., C.M.G., Agent-General for British Columbia, British Columbia House, 1 
Regent street, London, S.W.I , and it occurs to me that it would not be amiss if carbon copies of 
what I sent downstairs to his office were also passed on to you, and this I am doing. 

The ceremony at Capt. Vancouver's graveside on the 150* anniversary of his burial 18* 
May, will be a function attended by many of the British Isles and Canadians in the British Isles, 
and, in the evening (following the divine service at 3 p.m. in St. Peter's Church, Petersham, 
Surrey) there will be a banquet given by the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of London in the 
Mansion House. The whole ceremony will be broadcast throughout Canada by the Canadian 


Broadcasting Corporation. Just wliat we sliall do liere in Vancouver I do not l<now precisely, but I 
understand a wreatli is to be placed by our Mayor at the foot of the statue of Capt. Vancouver in 
front of our City Hall. 

It occurred to me that the City of Vancouver, Washington, should be represented at the 
services at St. Peter's. How this is to be done I cannot say. It might so be that you could send a 
message by cable or airmail, or it might be that someone from the United States Embassy in 
London would attend in person. 

Anyway, it does not harm to inform you, and harm might be done if I did not. 

Most sincerely, 


The Honourable the Mayor, 



Captain Vancouver's grave at St. Peter's. Annual wreath, May 1 8™. City of 
Vancouver TAKES over from Native Sons of British Columbia. 

Mayor's Office 
City Hall 

Vancouver, Canada 
is'*" April, 1950 

W.A. McAdam, Esq., C.M.G., 
Agent-General, British Columbia House, 
1 Regent St., London, S.W. 1 . 

Dear Mr. McAdam: 

Thank you for your letter of the 13**^ April re the procedure of identifying the wreath placed 
annually on Captain Vancouver's grave. 

I quite agree with you that if the City is bearing the cost of this, it would be well to place it 
in the name of the City. I think it is a duty the City should feel privileged to carry out. 

Many thanks for drawing my attention to the matter. 

Yours truly, 

Chas. E. Thompson. 


Explanation by City Archivist. 

The explanation, of course, is that the Native Sons of B.C. have long since lost interest in the formal 
solemn ceremony of laying the annual wreath, and, for years past, the only part they played was receiving 
the account from the Agent-General, passing it on to the City, who sent them a cheque, and they 
forwarded the cheque to the Agent-General. Other than that they knew nothing about it. 



Ill l?H(> all t]iM'ct|x.' lav pres'^UjUL; iht; HiiLish Isk's 
h|{>i1€ fought on, received ihc full force of the entiiiy 
oniilaughi. and suffered the destruction of their 
churches and one milhou td ilieir homcn- St. Peier\ 
C^hiu'chn where Captain \'ancouvci- Mfs huricd in lU 
gravevani. escapetl with damage, and for fiic yoars 
after the wni' ended lav 3.y< [he Ux: had left h- 


One of the kind friends the Vicar 

City Archives. City Hall, 
Vancouver, January, 1952 

She Keslorattnn nf 
^L peters ffi^ljttrcl] 



Petersham Vicarage, 

December 26th, 1951 

To Major J. S. Matthews, V.D. 

The City Hall, 


Dear Major Matthews: 

Knowiiij; the interest you take in Petershairi Church, 
I am sure that you will be glad to learn that, ou Christmas 
morning, I had the happiness of announcing to a large 
congregation that the restoration and re-decoration of 
St. Peter's was practically completed. 

We are taking steps to see that the City of \'ancouver's 
part ill the restoration has a permanent record on a notice 
board ill the porch— to be seen by worshippers and visitors 
for .several generations. 

When I compare the church as it was on Christmas 
Dav four vears ago, half in ruins an<l with the interior 
showing only too obvious signs of deterioration, with the 
church I saw from the pulpit yesterday, I am indeed 
grateful to God, and under Him to all kind friends whose 
sacrifice and interest made the re.storation possible. 

The scheme of decoration adopted was that designed 
by the Ancient Monuments Department of H.M. Depart- 
ment of Works. Not ever\'body (as you may expect) 
approves, but the scheme makes the chnrch look bright 
and clean, and 1 tell my contemporaries that we who have 
our roots in the nineteenth century must reinember that 
the church is to serve the people living and to live in the 
latter half of the twentieth century. 

Every good wish for the New Year. 

Yours sincerely, 

Vicar of Petersham, 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_080 


Coves, views and heights. 

Men, like sheep, follow each other in many matters, and do it without thought. In the early years of 
Burrard Inlet the word "cove" was in fashion; everyone applied the word "cove" to some recess in the 
shore whenever he got a chance. There was Cedar Cove and Jerry's Cove and Skunk Cove, Fisherman's 
Cove and others. 

Then, about 1910, the naming of Shaughnessy Heights started an epidemic of "heights," but before that 
the suffix "view" was in fashion — period 1 890-1 900. First it was Fairview, then Grandview, and then 
followed a stream of them until now there must be 1 5 or 20 "views." The worst was the torrent of "heights" 
which followed 1910 until now there must be twenty-five or more "heights," "ridges," "mounts" or "hills" in 
and about Vancouver. 

There are those who assert that "Jericho" got its name in some other way, but the facts are, someone 
called "Jerry's Cove" by the appellation "Jericho" and the name stuck. Early Burrard Inlet residents had a 
passion for nicknames; everyone had one. 

See the compilation. Sobriquets of Gastown, Matthews. 


/niOM AN 

Caaj\^ oti'ifie G^uaM 


A DAY or so ofler the New Year> 1 
rcicived u k'tlt^i- from Major J. S. 
Mnt thews, the city archivist, askinp; me tfi 
iielp hi 111 porsuadf the p<'<jplt^ ijf Van- 
t'f.iuvc'i' lo eall themselves Vaneouverians 
ratliei' tJian Vaneoitvcrites. I was think- 
ing the matter over, wontlei'jrif^ h(i\\' I 
euuJd hest fnniply wi[h I he niaior's 
request when 1 notieed the ^vord he was 
cjhjevting tii rifjht in the lirst hne (jf 
a Provinee leading trditerial. Tliere it 
.stood: "Nrnv is the litne f'lr Vantouver- 
ites to hunt for last ttiiiiute 'hugs','' and 
it stuck eut lil<e a bump in the sidewalk. 
The assTK-iation with hu^^s was rather 
appi'opriate, too, beeause, as Major 
Matthews pointed i>ut. the suffix belonys 
to sueli things a.s parasites and termites 
and ttiloijilts. We have l<n> many "itos" 
about Vaneouver, the major says, 
"ShauKhnesseyitcs,' "Jerithoites, ' "Pem- 
bertonites,'' "Dunbai'i1i:!i'' and the like, 
just as we tefid to name every little 
mound dome sort of ''Heights." 

Jf 4- * 

There are two reasons, it seentj) to 
me, why it would be more appropi iate 
for Vancouver people to tall themselves 
Vatieouverians rather tliap Vimeouver- 
ites. Vancouverian has a soft and eupho- 
nious sountl wliile Vaiieouverito is harsh 
and Kraling. Then, the former iias better 

Both suffixes have an honorable 
ancestry. The .sitflix *'ile' comes from the 
Cieel;. where it means a member of or 
belonninf! to. The Greeks, for instance, 
called Iheii footsolcliers hoplitcs, that is, 
men who have heavy armor, 'Ihe suffix 
"an' or "ian"' is Latin and means much 
the same. We find it in words like 
Oxonian and Aji^dican. 

Vancouverian, I hen, means the same 
as Vancouverite; a |>ei'son connected 

with or belonging to Vancouver: a mem- 
ber of the community. When either word 
will convey the meaning, the proper 
eoorse is to choose the one which meets 
other requireinenls. Vancouverian has a 
pleasantt-r. more sonorous sound than 
its rival. It doesn't grate on the nerves. 
The people of Edmonton might have 
called themselves Edmontonites. But 
they didn't. They prefer to be called 
Edmontonians. So, we have Hanover^ 
ians, not Ilanoverites; PrCteb.\'torians, not 
i Prcsb.vtcrileii: Calgarians, not Calgadtes; 
Vjclorians rather than Vietorites and 
Toroiltonians mstead of Torontoites. 
* * * 

There is the point of association, too. 
There are a lot of Biblical names ending 
in "ite, " names, mostly of various tribes- 
men like Amalikites, Jebusites, etc., but 
they aie a pretty reprehensible lot, take 
them all in ail. One of the most ap- 
proved names in the Good Book is not 
Sainarile but Samaritan, 

There is also another sort of associa- 
tion. The names of a number of explo- 
sive compounds end in "ite," like dyna- 
mite, cordite, lyddite and melanite. Do 
we want to ,suEgest that we are an 
unstable and highly explosive people? 
Or do we wish to convey the impression 
that v.e are hard and refractory like 
some of the minerals, magnetite, azurite 
or fhlorite? 

There is even historical warrant for 
calling ourselves Vancouveriahs, Major 
Matthews quotes from "Scenes and 
Studic! of Savage Life," written by Gil- 
bert Malcolm Sproat m lt)63, "They 
induce the Vancouverian tribes to attack 
the smaller tribes on their shores." The 
reference is to Vancouver Island Indians, 
Altogether, it seems, Vancouverian 
has much the better of the argument. 

— lisprinlea Irutn Thf Vancuuver Daiii Pinvinie, Thursrtav, .lan. 11, ItBl. 

A cognomen used "before 1866 
hr Gilbert Ifalcolm STiroat.of S-proat'a Lalce . Tancourer 

Page 1. "In Augaet 1860 I entered Barelay Soun*.... 
two amed Teoeela. .. .fifty men.... for purpose of 
taking poaeeBalon of tbe diatrict now called Altoeml, 
Tage 92. "they Indttot the Tanoourerian tribea to 
attack the BBBller nelghhorlng tribes on their 
ahorea" ..... 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_081 


Conversation, 25 May 1948, with Mr. and Mrs. Van Duren, of North Bend, Oregon, 
who are on a visit to vancouver — arrived on the evening of 24 may (1948) — and 


I forget his initials, but sine is tine celebrated "Klondyke Kate," the former Miss Kate Rockwell, and is still 
known as Mrs. Kate Rockwell Van Duren. I had invited them to have lunch with me in the City Archives, 
but they arrived about 1 1 :00 a.m. saying they had just had breakfast. They remained until about 2:00 p.m. 
Before departing I took them over the City Hall, showed them the Mace, the City offices, and 
accompanied them to the bus stop on Cambie Street, but they said they were going to walk back to town 
so that they could see something of Vancouver. Mr. Van Duren is less tall than Mrs. Van Duren, and is 
elderly and very quiet. They have been recently married — she for the third time — and their visit here is 
really the end of a long honeymoon. I gathered Mr. Van Duren was an old "Sourdough" friend she had 
known in her early days. He is very quiet, and had little to say, even when I repeatedly addressed him. 

MISS Kate Rockwell. "Klondyke Kate." Genealogy. 

Major Matthews: (addressing a tall, distinguished lady followed by a shorter gentleman) Mrs. Van Duren. 

Mrs. Van Duren: "Yes, and this is Mr. Van Duren." 

Major Matthews: Come and be seated. I want to know all about you. 

Mrs. Van Duren: (after much conversation not worth recording) "Yes, that's right, I'm a 'sourdough,' and 
proud of it. I am the only daughter and second child of Martha Alice Rockwell, nee Murphy, of near 
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. My father, Mr. Jay Rockwell, was from Chester, England. They were married 
at Junction City, Kansas, where I was born. We lost Mr. Rockwell in 1882." (Note: not by death.) "I was 
educated in Spokane, Washington, and various boarding schools and convents. It was considered the 
proper thing in those days. Mother, of course, was American. Father's full name was Jay Will Rockwell." 

Her early dancing. 

"As long as I can remember I loved to dance. Never in my life have I had a dancing lesson. Even as far 
back as I can remember I used to dance. I used to go out in the orchard under the plum trees in blossom, 
then shake the tree and the blossom petals would fall in a shower, and I danced among them as they fell. 
I used to pretend to myself that I was dancing among the stars. 

"At first I danced in New York — on the stage — then I came west, and at the time of the Klondike Gold 
Rush — spell it 'dike,' not 'dyke' — at the time of the Klondike Rush I was in Victoria." 

First moving picture in Victoria. Biograph machine. Orpheum Theatre. Johnson and 
Tracey. Pantages. 

"I had the first moving picture in Victoria. As I told you, I went to Dawson, Yukon Territory, in 1900, and 
was 'outside' once or twice before leaving in 1 904. The theatre I had in Victoria was the 'Orpheum" and 
the moving picture machine was a silent machine called a 'Biograph.' It was at about 67 Yates Street. The 
entertainment consisted of one act vaudeville, and the biograph machine. Admittance was 1 or 1 5 cents, 
and there have been times when I have seen only two people as audience. We also had items of 
illustrated song." 

Major Matthews: Ulcerated song!! 

Mrs. Van Duren: (laughing) "Yes, ulcerated song." 

Note: "Ulcerated" song was a soloist, usually, who sung sentimental songs, usually about "Mother" or 
"Way down East," to the accompaniment of coloured lantern slides, depicting love-sick maidens leaning 
over the rail of some bridge beneath which a stream flowed. "Ulcerated" song was "awful," but the "boys" 
liked them. 

"We advertised an afternoon matinee, too. But it was my money which supported it. I pawned my 
diamonds for three hundred and fifty dollars with Mr. Aaronson, the pawnbroker — borrowed it with my 
diamonds as security, and then bought out Johnson and Tracey, who had been operating the theatre. 
The purchase included the biograph machine, the benches and some white curtains on the stage — side 


curtains. Johnson and Tracey had started it but did not tal<e care of it. What they were doing I don't 
l<now — perhaps drinl<ing — anyway they were not lool<ing after it, so I bought them out. I saw that the 
biograph moving picture had a future, but it was very hard to convince anyone else. 

"Then Mr. Pantages came over from Seattle, and that was really the beginning of his circuit — it was his 
first start. I had known him in Dawson in 1900. He was a waiter in the theatre at Dawson — the Savoy." 

J.S. Matthews 

Conversation with Mrs. William Walmsley, nee Housley, now of 2313 Ash Street, 
widow, who kindly called at the city archives this afternoon, 22 november 1 954. 

Charles Housley, pioneer, 1886. William Walmsley. 

Mrs. Walmsley: "My father was Charles Housley. He came from Winnipeg to Vancouver before 'The Fire.' 
I forget how it was, but it was the time of the North West Rebellion. He was not in the rebellion. He came 
here for his health. Mother had a general store in Winnipeg and came later, after 'The Fire,' with my 
brother Charlie and myself. Walter came from Winnipeg, I fancy, by himself. He was a boy and I think 
Father met him. Make it clear — my father and Walter were here before 'The Fire.' The rest of us in July 
1 886 after 'The Fire.' I do not remember the trip. Walter was the eldest; then Charlie, who died about 
eight years ago; and then myself. At the time I was about a year old, and in Mother's arms." 

Oppenheimer Street school. Strathcona School. Water from wells. Mayor David 

"I went to the Oppenheimer Street" (Cordova East) "school for part of a day — they were too crowded — but 
later I went to Strathcona School. We lived next door to the Oppenheimers on Cordova Street, and also 
right next to the school. Mother supplied the school with water. Father dug a well in our back yard. I don't 
know how deep it was, but to me, a little girl, it seemed very deep — might have been twenty-five feet; I 
don't know. We had a hand pump outside the house, and when we pumped with a handle the overflow 
water dropped back into the well. My mother used to draw water in a jug, and my brothers used to carry it 
over to the school. Or they may take it in a bucket. The school boys used to come over and pump water, 
but they broke the glass, and after that we gave them a cup." 

S.S. Arrow. Robertson and Hackett. B.C. Cooperage. 

"Father had a boat called the Arrow. He used to run it across, like a ferry, to North Vancouver or Port 
Moody. She was a steam boat and was wrecked in the Second Narrows. Father was a marine engineer 
and worked on boats. He had a little factory on Seymour Street — made sashes and doors and interior 
fittings for houses. He sold out to Robertson and Hackett. He was killed in 1904 at the B.C. Cooperage on 
Cambie Street; an accident putting the driving belt on a flywheel. He died on 17*^ March, 1904, at the City 
Hospital, Cambie Street. Father and Mother (who was Miss Sarah Bailey) were married in Bristol, 
England. Brother Walter was born in Coburg, Ontario, and is the eldest. At one time we lived on Prior 

Thorpe's soda water. 

"I was married in Vancouver, 1 ^' January 1 91 0, at our home, 773 Beatty Street. Our old home is still there. 
It was next door to Thorpe's soda water factory. I have two children; Samuel William is married, lives in 
New Westminster. He was in the last war, is working for a water supply company, and has two boys, John 
Robert and William Carl. He was in the Canadian Air Force (I think radio or wireless operator) for two 
years. Then he was a prisoner of war in Germany for three years. Elizabeth, my daughter, is Mrs. William 
Morrison and is in Toronto. She is a musician; no children." 


The first steamship (claimed) to be built in Vancouver. 

Conversation with Captain William Watts, pioneer, now 86, 1590 West 15**^ Avenue, who called this 
morning for a chat. He is remarkably well preserved — looks 66 — and brought an eastern Canadian 
newspaper giving an account of his visit, which I clipped and pasted on thick white paper. 

(I have failed to record date, but it was an early day in September 1947. J.S. Matthews.) 


Capt. Watts: "I built the first steamship in Vancouver." 

Major Matthews: Are you sure? 

Capt. Watts: "Positive." 

Major Matthews: What about the Maggie, built on the Granville beach, you know. Water Street, by, who 
was it, Jerry Rogers? 

Capt. Watts: "That wasn't in Vancouver — that was in Granville. Mine was the first in the City of 
Vancouver. She was about thirty feet long, seven feet beam, single steam cylinder, four inch stroke, and 
her engines and boilers built in Talton" (perhaps Carlton) "Place, Ontario, by the Porcupine boiler people. 
Ever heard of a porcupine boiler? 

"I arrived here about 15"^ December 1888, and started the boat building business at once — Watts and 
Trott, outside the piling of the C.P.R. main line between Cambie and Abbott streets. I built the boat for G.I. 
Wilson and George Cassady, father of George Cassady, lawyer. New Westminster. She was built in the 
summer of 1892. When she was ready they had a grand launching. G.I. Wilson's daughter, now the wife 
of Jim Allan of the Post Office or Customs — she is still alive; so's Jim Allan — she christened the boat with 
champagne and all the trimmings. Christened her the /W/ram/c/?/ after the Miramichi River in New 
Brunswick — regular christening and wasted the champagne. I claim she was the first steamer built in 
Vancouver. She was cedar planked, oak ribs, straight stem and elliptic stern, yacht counter, open sides 
and awning top supported on standards all around, seats all around, and the fuel was coal or wood. She 
was a pleasure yacht — never registered — nothing under ten tons registered at that time. G.I. Wilson and 
George Cassady used her for hunting trips up the North Arm — anywhere. G.I. Wilson was quite an 
important fellow in those days. 

"She ended her days on Dog Lake below Penticton. Dr. Bob Mathison, of Kelowna, told me where she 
ended. They must have taken her to Okanagan Lake on a C.P.R. flat car and then steamed her down the 
lake to Penticton and down the river. Anyway, Bob told me she ended her days down by Okanagan Falls 
and Dog Lake." 

Porcupine boiler. 

"The porcupine boiler was just an ordinary iron round boiler all studded with one inch pipes about six 
inches long sticking out at right angles; they were blind one end. They stuck out like spikes on a prickly 
pear — sort of semi-tubular boiler — and the flames played on the pipes as well as the boiler; just what it 
was called — porcupine — porcupine boiler." 


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Item # EarlyVan_v7_082 


[illustration annotation:] 

The Last Victims of Civilisation. Vancouver, June 1 888. E.L.M. 

In pencil on the back is written: - "For Cecil Merritt; painted by Emily L. Merrill. In distance, the first C.P.R. 

These two trees stood in the West End, Vancouver, on or near the corner of Barclay and Thurlow streets, 
and can be seen, on the photo C.V. Van. Sc. P. 59 N. 8. The first C.P.R. Hotel Vancouver stood on the 
south west corner of Granville and Georgia streets, and is outlined to the right. The buildings to right and 
left of the trees are on the east side of Granville St, north of Georgia St. 

The forest on District Lot 541 , or "C.P.R. Townsite" was felled in the spring of 1 886 by Boyd and 
Clandenning, who, under contract, received twenty six dollars per acre for slashing and felling, and two 
dollars extra for cutting the limbs off; $28.00 in all. 

The forest on District Lot 185, or "Brighouse Estate," adjoining to the west of Burrard street, was felled to 
about Nicola street, in the spring of 1887 by John "Chinese" McDougall, and his employment of Chinese 
in preference to whites was the cause of the Chinese Riot of Feb. 1887. For some reason not known, 
solitary trees were left standing. These are two of them. 

Later, Boyd and Clandenning were paid three hundred dollars per acre for close cutting and clearing 
everything off the "C.P.R. Townsite" so that fire could not run through it again as it had done on 13 June 

Miss Emily Merritt was a sister of Colonel Merritt, in whose honour the town of Merritt, B.C. was named. 
She was a cousin of Captain Cecil Merritt, one of the officers of the 72"^* Regt, Seaforth Highlanders, and 
a gallant gentleman who gave his life in battle in the first world war. In May 1 952 Mrs. Cecil Merritt, 3744 
West 12* Ave, gave permission for this watercolor to be copied by photography. 

City Archives, Vancouver. J.S.M. 

The "West End," Vancouver. Lost in the clearing. 

Excerpt from letter, 29 April 1954, from Miss Marjorie Harris, 1285 Pacific Street, to Major J. S. Matthews: 

My father once described to me how he was lost on the trail between what is now Stanley Park 
and our "West End"; it was a winter's afternoon. There was a fall of snow and he missed the path 
and got lost. He had been shooting and dusk fell. 

There are two or three other instances of persons being lost in the "West End" clearing. One is told by 
Mrs. (Senator) J.H. King, daughter of Major Lacey R. Johnston, C.P.R. railway official, who built a house 
on Beach Avenue near Nicola Street, the first in that neighbourhood, about 1889. In going to it, cross 
country as there were no streets, either Major Johnson or his daughter, or both together, became 
confused as to the direction, and for a time did not know where they were, or in which direction the house 
was situate. 


Again, in the summer of 1898, J.S. Matthews and his bride lived at 1425 Burrard Street, and, after their 
evening meal, went together to stroll in the clearing to the westwards. Finding a suitable boulder as a 
seat, they lingered too long; the sun set, darkness fell, and when they rose to go home, did not know in 
which direction to go. 

They stumbled around in humps and hollows; fell several times, until, finally, they observed a light 
glimmering in the heavens. It was an electric light bulb shining in the window of the third storey of the 
wooden St. Paul's Hospital. They, hastening towards it, soon reached Burrard Street, then opened up as 
far as the hospital, beyond which — towards the south — narrow sinuous path led to their home (at the 
corner now the north end of the Burrard Bridge.) In 1898 no streets south of the Hospital, save Beach 
Avenue, were marked; all was clearing. 



Conversation, 8 May 1 956, over the telephone, with A.M. Whiteside, Esq., K.C, 470 
Granville Street, barrister, pioneer. New Westminster. 

The Great Fire, 13 June 1886. "Here before the train" banquet, 7 May 1887. 

Mr. Whiteside: "I intended to be tliere, but tlien, at tine last moment, found tliat I could not do so. I hear 
the banquet was a great success." 

Major Matthews: I asked the chairman, Rowe Holland, to ask all those who were born in Vancouver or 
vicinity in 1886 to stand up. About ten stood up. Then I asked him to ask those who escaped from "The 
Fire" to stand up. I had not time to count them before they sat down, but it was about fifteen, perhaps 

Mr. Whiteside: "I was walking somewhere in New Westminster and looked up. I saw a great column of 
black smoke ascending to the sky; then it mushroomed out at the top. It was the most remarkable column 
of black smoke I ever saw. Then, after a short while, the carriages and wagons began to arrive with the 
refugees seeking food and shelter in New Westminster. 

"Then what do you think they did? They despatched a fire engine from New Westminster by train. The 
train ran up to the junction at Coquitlam, and then on to Vancouver, about twenty-six miles, and arrived 
after the 'party' was over." 

Conversation with Miss Elsa Wiegand, 3836 West 23''° Avenue, daughter of 
Charles Wiegand, well-known pioneer of Vancouver, who very kindly called at 
THE City Archives this morning, 28 June 1946. 

The celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the incorporation of Vancouver is on everyone's mind, and 
we are compiling a roll of those who have lived, and are still living, sixty years or more on Burrard Inlet. 

Early life of Charles W. Wiegand. Burrard Inlet in 1885. 

Miss Weigand: "Father was born on November 29, 1958, in Schoppenstedt, Brunswick, Germany, where 
his father, Theodor Wiegand, was principal of the school, registrar of vital statistics and organist and 
choirmaster of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church. His grandfather on his mother's side was Head Forester of 
the great forests by Feldheim, some miles from Schoppenstedt. This old gentleman wore a medal won at 
the Battle of Waterloo, where he was a commanding officer under Blucher. After some years passed, the 
Wiegand family moved to the city of Brunswick where Father attended the 'Gymnasium,' a well-know 
secondary school in this part of the country. Much to his family's disappointment. Father left home to be 
apprenticed to a sailing vessel. Twice he sailed around the world in the good old days when it meant 
rounding the Horn. The beauty of the Samoan Island made a deep and lasting impression which 
remained with him through life. However, his real love was Burrard Inlet, where he arrived on December 
5, 1 885, and decided to stay. Many were the trips he took in a small rowboat up the North Arm of Burrard 
Inlet. He was on friendly terms with the Indians and soon learned the Chinook jargon. At first he stayed at 
the now famous Sunnyside Hotel but soon tired of that, and moved to a little rustic dwelling he had built 
on the seashore between old Granville Townsite and the Hastings Sawmill. He had rather a shock one 
morning to awaken and find his furniture floating — however, this only happened at extremely high tide. He 
thought a great deal of the Rev. Fiennes Clinton and attended services at the first little St. James 

Princess Street Methodist Church. 

"My mother was Elizabeth Jane Rogers of Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England. My parents' marriage 
on June 1^', 1890, was the first which was performed at the old Princess Street Methodist Church. Father 
was a young widower at this time — there was one child by his first marriage, a little daughter, Mamie, who 
died in San Francisco where she was living with her mother's relatives." (She died just before 
arrangements were being completed to have her brought back to B.C.) 

Bears in Mount Pleasant. 

"Father bought a cottage on Keefer Street about a couple of blocks east of Westminster Avenue" (now 
Main Street), "where he took my mother after their marriage. There I was born in May 1891 and lived until 


I was three years old. Then we moved to our new home on the southeast corner of 12* and Ontario 
Street. The woods were close at hand, giving cover to bears who occasionally were bold enough to break 
down a fence and help themselves to raspberries and vegetables. In 1 896 my only brother was born. He 
died in 1942 and was survived by his widow — there were no children. When I was twelve years old we 
moved to 1 357 Pender Street. Father bought the property from Mr. Osborne Plunkett. It was an English 
type of home — half of it hall — and fireplaces in nearly all the rooms. There was a beautiful sunken garden 
where we kept our little rowboat. Our favourite pastime was to row to Deadman's Island where we 
children begged for fish to feed the seals in Stanley Park." 


"It was in this manner that Father started in the furniture business. Mr. Frank W. Hart, whom you knew, 
and whose widow is living in Vancouver, was in the furniture business, I believe. At the time of the fire. 
Father saved some of the firm's business papers but he had to drop a large picture of his father which he 
was carrying under his arm. The fire made such rapid headway that he had to rush down into the sea. Of 
course he lost all his possessions. Later, Father was Vancouver manager for Sehl who had a furniture 
factory in Victoria. A few years after he bought out Mr. Hach's business on Cordova Street. (Mr. Hach 
died suddenly, I understand, as the result of a fall.) It was not long before my father was operating three 
different stores of his own." 

Retired from business. Visit to birthplace in Germany. Gambier Island. 

"As a comparatively young man my father retired in 1907. In the same year he sold our Pender Street 
home (much to our childish grief!) as the surrounding district was becoming rapidly industrialised. He 
bought a dwelling at 1339 Burnaby Street from which there was a fine view of the sea. Before settling 
down in the Burnaby Street residence, the four members of the Wiegand family took a six months' trip to 
Europe, holidaying in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England. When in Germany, we visited Father's 
birthplace and the old paternal forestry home at Feldheim." 

Fred Keeling. Brigade Bay. 

Shortly after we left Pender Street, my father became interested in Gambier Island when on one of his 
trips in his sailboat, the Bosun. He first bought four hundred and thirty-two acres from Mr. Fred Keeling, 
who had built a log cabin and started an orchard on a hillside with a glorious view of Mount Garibaldi and 
the Sound. Later he purchased the Simpson property, another one hundred and seventy-three acres, for 
at the far end of this lot there is a beautiful little sheltered bay which offered a good mooring place for our 
boat. This was a great advantage after he parted with the sailing sloop and acquired the Phryne, a fast 
cruising launch." 

Later life on Gambier Island. 

"Most of Father's later life was spent on this property where he had a comfortable home constructed and 
surrounded himself with a lovely garden in which was an artificial lake. For a number of years he raised 
canaries, pheasants, and Belgian hares, and kept deer in a nearby enclosure. His hobby was the growing 
of lilies-of-the-valley and violets. He is now eighty-eight and wonderfully well and hearty and still a good 
rifle shot. During the recent war he belonged to the Pacific Coast Rangers on Gambier Island." 

Conversation with Mr. Charles Wiegand, and his daughter, Miss Elsa Wiegand, 
WHO were so kind as to call at the City Archives this afternoon, 27 December 
1946, and stay chatting for an hour or so, and partake of a little tea and cake at 
the proper moment. 

Mr. Wiegand is 88; was born on 29 November 1 858, and is very active for the number of summers and 
winters he has seen; joined in the conversation; ate his slice of cake, looks well — probably due to his 
daughter's care — and nothing whatever to indicate antique or the worse for wear. We had a very talkative 
visit; not a dull moment. Miss Wiegand and Mr. Wiegand, when in town, are temporarily living at 3836 
West 23'^'' Avenue. They still retain their Gambier Island estate. Mr. Wiegand has been in Vancouver over 
sixty-one years; he arrived on Burrard Inlet, 5 December 1885. Miss Wiegand had with her a copy of our 
conversation of 28 June last; said she approved of it with one or two slight alterations. 


1885 IN Vancouver. 

Mr. Wiegand: "I arrived in Vancouver in 1 885 and for a time I lived at tlie old Sunnyside Hotel, but two 
dollars a day was a bit expensive in those days, so I had one of the waterfront characters build me a 
shack on the beach for $7.50; it was situated near what now is the foot of Columbia Street." 

Note by J.S. Matthews: A panoramic photo of Vancouver waterfront taken in May or before thirteenth of 
June 1 886 by Harry Devine, has been sent to Mr. Wiegand, as it probably shows the shack he lived in. 
There are several in about that location. 

Mr. Wiegand: "I now spend nearly all my time at Gambler Island. I bought D.L. 1780 from Fred Keeling 
and D.L. 1259 from William Simpson. The two lots cover an area of six hundred and five acres with about 
three miles shoreline." 

Note by J.S. Matthews re Simpson Bros.: There were two Simpson brothers. At one time they were at 
Hood Point. Mrs. Raley, nee Simpson, sister-in-law to Rev. G.H. Raley, D.D., well-known, said, 5 
September 1939: 

"John and William Simpson were my brothers. William moved to Gambler Island in 1888. Both camped at 
the corner of Gore Avenue and Hastings Street before the fire of 1886. John was J. P. in the Kootenays in 
1907. He died at 712 Rayside Avenue, Burnaby, February 16*, 1938, aged 78 years." (We do not appear 
to have information about William.) 

Brigade Bay. Camp Artaban. Port Graves. 

Mr. Wiegand: "The Geographic Board have recently named our sheltered little bay 'Brigade Bay' as the 
'Boys' Brigade' have a summer camp close to our boundary line. Our home is about ten minutes' walk 
from this bay. From the garden, there is a glorious view of Howe Sound with Anvil Island and the great 
mainland mountains beyond. It is a pleasant walk to Camp Artaban situated at Port Graves at the head of 
East Bay, formerly Long Bay. Mrs. H.O. Alexander, widow of the late Magistrate Alexander, still resides at 
her beautiful home 'Shore Glen' on her property next to Artaban." 

Deer on Gambier Island. 

Major Matthews: Are there any deer on Gambier Island now? 

Miss Wiegand: "Yes, many of them." 

Mr. Wiegand: "For years I had them as pets. It is necessary to see that our high fences are in good repair 
or our garden would soon be ruined. They enjoy flowers as well as vegetables." 

Miss Wiegand: "They are sometimes dazzled at night by the light of my 'bug' on the trail. On two different 
occasions, friends of our have actually collided with them." 

Major Matthews: Have you considered selling the timber on the property? 

Miss Wiegand: "We have had offers but we cannot bear to have the forest spoilt." 

Major Matthews: Couldn't they just take the "big stuff? 

Miss Wiegand: "We have seen the frightful mess left after so-called 'selective logging' and so far have 
turned down their offers." 

Mr. Wiegand: "My daughter has inherited the 'wanderlust' from me, and has spent much time living in 
Europe and travelling to my favourite islands in the Southern Hemisphere. At present we content 
ourselves with roaming about our island trails and boating along its rocky shoreline." 


[T.P. Wicks.] 

"Skookum Tom" (Big Tom), or T.P. Wicks, was never in scliool. He tauglit liimself to read and write. His 
boast was that no scliool roll in the world listed his name. J.S.M. 

Box 248, 
Nanaimo, B.C., 
July 30/46. 

Major J. S. Matthews, 
City Archivist, 
City Hall, 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

I have read your speech and can only think in amazement, what wondrous things 
education makes a man capable of. How contact with men of letters, used to giving expression to 
their thoughts, in a simple manner, that all can understand, can reach the mind of the most 
unlettered. With a few words you express your ideas of the greatness of the events, that led up to 
the birth of a great city, telling us of the strides, progress has made in the last sixty years, far less 
than the span of my short life. 

I can remember how on my nineteenth birthday. May 1^', 1887, a fellow workman and 
myself, desiring to ride on that first train into Vancouver, went to an Indian settlement near 
Marpole and purchased a dilapidated Indian canoe, which we repaired, sufficient to make the 
journey up the Frazer river, to old man Hicks' ranch, for whom I had worked at one time, near 
what is now Waletze Indian reserve, six miles up the river from Agaziz, who's wife was an Indian 
woman of the Waletze tribe. Hicks had arrived at this out of the way place, by way of the Omaha, 
Salt Lake City and California trail, before the Carribou rush and had settled in this out of the way 
place. Some have associated him, with things other than he was, however may that as it be. 
Hicks Lake in that neighborhood was named after this self-same man. 

On a granite bluff, at what is now the far end of his holding, is the graves of members of 
his family who died before the C.P.R. was dreamed of and forwhome he chizzled, with his own 
hands, marking stones, for their graves. 

He was a strongly built man, with brownish-red whiskers, which he wore in a wild and 
ungainly fashion and was not in the least particular about the appearance of his clothes. 

The days were never long enough to satisfy him in the amount of work he could do. From 
the crack of day, till the stars came out his voice could be heard, as he worried his prong-horned 
oxen, to and fro, to make one of the lovliest ranches in that part of the country; and so that is the 
pen picture of this squaw-man and early pioneer, that we were going to meet, as we felt sure 
number 374 would stop there, to replenish her fuel, at his ever-ready wood-pile. 

So we arrived at Hick's ranch. He was busy hauling wood, with the oxen, to the place, 
where he figured they would stop. All help and ours' were welcome, so we dug in and camped 
near the wood-pile. 

There was great expectance, but how the time dragged. Finally track workers comming 
along, said she will go by here, in three to five hours and the listening started. What appeared to 
be a much longer time, far up the canyon there came, a faint sound, like the hoot of a distant owl 
and the cry went up, "She's comming." Indians crawled out of their sleeping positions, where they 
lolled here and there as time had tired them, native women with their papooses, single ones, 
hanging onto one anothers' arms and jabbering away in their native tongue. They crowded down, 
as near to the rails as they dared and set down on their haunches, to await the comming event. 
Myself and friend and Hicks stood by ourselves, just back of the crowd, when around the bend, 
with a screech, that split our ears, came old 374 with a string of cars. Every window and every 


platform had its quota of heads and arms and swinging hats. Everyone was yelling. The 
engineers shuts the engine off, and I thought she was going to stop, but just as he got to us, he 
opened the cylinder-cocks and the steam shot clean up to the feet, of the waiting natives. With 
one hand, he pulled the throttle wide open and with the other the whistle hard-down. What a 
frightened bunch of people. There was no stopping that crowd, from getting away from that 
monster. I myself was frightened. I slipped and fell and over the top, bollus-bollus, went the whole 
crowd. Thank God, they were bare footed. I struggled to my feet, to find myself in the embrace of 
that wonderful man Hicks, while he yelled in my ear, "Didja see-er." "She's come." "She's gone." 
"She went out of here like Hell beatin' tan bark." 

Yours truly, 

T.P. Wicks. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

While I have my daughter here, I will use her, once a week, to pen my letters, to you. I 
am asking only one favor of you and that is, under no condition, allow our friend, the sidewalk 
historian, to partake of these remembrance notes and use the contents of them, to make saleable 
filling, for his stories of early days. I never did like that featherless biped, in spite of hiss quill. I 
wish I had control of grammar, like you have. 

Tell me what do you do, with these worthless things I write you, after you read them? Do 
you throw them in the waist-basket, to be used as kindling, for the furnace? 

Just write me a short note, to let me know you got it and what you'll do with it. 

Yours truly, 

T.P. Wicks. 

Copies of letters by "Skookum Tom," alias "Thomas P. Wicks," P.O. Box 248, 
Nanaimo, Canada. 

Note: "Skookum" boasts no school roll on earth ever included his name. As he approached 78, he was 
almost blind. An operation has restored his sight. His nerves have something wrong with them; his hand 
is almost constantly shaking. When writing he takes a large sheet of paper, a blunt lead pencil, and "goes 
at it." It is my claim that I am the only person living who can decipher his manuscript. J.S.M. 

(Typed as written) 

Jan. 1948 
Nanaimo, B.C. 

Just back from Victoria and find your letter of the 6 of Jan I would like to meet that wise 
bird that longs for a controversy and whence cometh he not from the east for he giveth no words 
of wisdom neither doth he carry mirth or the insence of the gods but rather he is haughty and his 
mouth is filed with the bitter alloes veraly I say the knave knows more about that than what else I 
do not nor never did like shadow boxing who is this rat that knows so much some decadent 
preacher or sectarian that sees nothing but himself. 

We all know that Captain Oliver did not pass deeds to the soul he followed but he gave 
his time and yoused his boat that the gospel he lived might go to those before that same gospel 
came to him until he or his boat he yoused was wrecked then the Mishion by subscription built 
him another to carry on the work and he took charge. 

My knowlage of Capt Oliver ended 1 91 5 — 33 years ago, and our friendship for around 
thirty years before that was very satisfactory. I am not [too much for me, but may be "deserting"— 
JSM/ deserting my old friend long dead with this man. 


I am not well just now have to write this letter with a carpenters lead pencil. Will see you 
after a while. 

As ever, 

Thos P. Wicks 

(Letter to Major J.S. Matthews.) 

Another letter — typed as written: 

Feb. 3rd-48 
Nanaimo, B.C. 
Box 248 

Dear Major Matthews: 

I have just got out of bed I shore have had a pull first the hospital then home and the flue 
some day I will be over I want to hear about that farse [farce] seems to think he is so wise if he 
can talk first hand and go back sixty years and more he might interest me otherwise I do not care 
to waste my breath with some chap that talks of knolage he has aquired from others. 

Now Oliver was my old friend and never passed my home without stoping blowing a big 
old fashioned tin dinner horn if he did not come in he called droped his ancher and I would go out 
and have a chat. I can tell you a lot, but nothing that would defame him. I donated money and 
time which you have letter in your files to prove I done for this M.E. costal mishion there never 
was a record asked nor expected by the old timers for the donations or time given and I do not 
expect Oliver asked for or receved any remuration as long as his little craft was afloat. 

I was the main stay in the building of the Mishion church at Alert Bay and had a freewil 
contribution of hands for church and parson age deeds for which can not be found lost as I 
presume in the head filed but which to my knolage were placed in the hands of Dr White of 
Sardis, B.C. 

My adviser and coach was none other than Oliver and to his guideing hands credit the 
success of effort and to the men of the fishing crew who elected me the chairman gave $600 to 
go before the board and ask for preacher and a church through those trying days it was on Oliver 
who I leaned on for his advice and whose friendly council I had found so welcome both by mail 
and in person for many years before and tonight I can see his little bark and hear him as oft he 
had said every wind was a fair wind and every tide a fair tide and a thousand little bays are home 
sweet to me. 

Why shouldnt I know this man who came into my life so many years ago I expect before 
the hat man was dry back of his ears and no matter who he is or what. 

If he insists that Oliver did not give of his service and his boat in the early days of the 
M.E. Mishion on the B.C. inland coast he is a dam liar and the truth is not in him no matter who 
he is 

I will give you what you ask for when we elimnate the hat man. 

As ever 

T.P. Wicks 

I am not well these days two calendar months and I am 80. 66 years ago Jan 30'^ — 1882 I 
headed for Boston, slap that on the ass of the hat man. 

Note: the "dam liar" is Ireland, Provincial Archivist. 


Glad Tidings. Captain Oliver and his bark or barque or sloop. 

Feb. 11 'N 948 

Dear Mr. Ireland: 

Listen to "Skookum Tom" bark. 

Most sincerely, 

W.E. Ireland, Esq., 
Provincial Archives 
Victoria, BC 

P.S. It's beginning to look that Mr Wicks knows something about Capt. Oliver. 

Conversation with Mrs. Charles Wilkes, 2544 Cornwall Street, who lives with 


Her grandfather, John Lee Lewis, came out on horseback. He was sent out here to open the Hudson's 
Bay Company store at Camosun" (Victoria) "on Vancouver's Island; that was what it was called then. He 
died at St. Andrew's in Manitoba, at the age of 98 years. He was dead before Mrs. Wilkes was born; in 
fact, before Mrs. Wilkes' mother was married. 

"The Hudson's Bay Company sent him out with his family, and the only transportation was on horseback 
over the Rockies; that must have been quite a while ago. He was out on Vancouver's Island for quite a 
while, and then from there he went to the Hudson's Bay post in Vancouver, Washington, and did 
something there. 

"Mother used to tell us that, coming over the Rockies, it was just a path, a little path on the side of the 
mountain, and once my grandmother's horse slipped and fell over the precipice into the river; they were 
coming this way" (to the west.) "Mother told me the horse went down a rapid, and Grandmother was 
caught and held by a tree halfway down. They had to lower ropes down and bring her up. They never 
saw the horse again." 

Of course "Mother" was then Miss Eliza Lewis, afterwards Mrs. William Douglas Lane, after her marriage 
at St. Andrew's, Manitoba, about 1872, as far as Mrs. Wilkes could recall. 

"Mr. Lane was Chief Factor in the Hudson's Bay Company at St. Frangois Xavier, Manitoba, about twenty 
miles west of Winnipeg. He died in 1 881 ." 

Mrs. Wilkes added that there are lots of her grandfather's memos and letters in the Provincial Archives, 

Conversation with Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Wilkes, at 1665 East Fifth Avenue, 
Vancouver, this morning, 21 December 1945, when I called at his invitation by 
letter to receive a christmas present, being a piece of the wood of the s.s. 
Beaver made many years ago into a desk ruler. 

Mr. C.J. Wilkes, pioneer. S.S. Beaver, relic. 

Mr. Wilkes: "I came here first in 1888. At that time the Hudson's Bay Company's steamer Beaver was on 
the rocks and all sorts of people were down to look at her. This ruler was made at that time, and I have 
kept it all these years — now you take it for your Archives. It is sixteen inches long and a beautiful piece of 


"I was at Donald, B.C., first, in 1887, and stayed at Donald from December 1887 to March 1888, then 
came on to Vancouver — went over to Victoria. It was the time just after Lord Stanley, Governor General, 
had been here. The war ship which was conveying him was wrecked on those rocks just outside of 


Victoria. Tine rocl<s tore a liole in lier about tliirty feet long — ^just crumpled lier bottom up — and I liad tine 
job of lielping to put tine pipes in again. Tine job was done by tine Albion Iron Works." 

Major Matthews: We have a photo of her in the Esquimalt Dock being repaired. I must send you a copy of 

Mr. Wilkes: "We took the copper pipe out of her. Her bilge keel is in the Victoria Museum — in the 
Government Buildings, Victoria. About thirty feet long was the hole. 

"Then I came over to Vancouver in 1 897, went up to Trail, was in Trail, B.C. until 1 900; then took a trip to 
the Old Country, May to September, 1900; then to the C.P.R. Shops in Montreal; then to C.P.R., 
Revelstoke in December, 1900, and there until 1906 when I came to Vancouver for good." 

First Mrs. C.J. Wilkes. First refrigerator, ice. B.T. Rogers. Ross and Howard. 

"I was married in Victoria in 1889. We celebrated our golden wedding in March, 1938. Mrs. Wilkes died 
two years ago last November — then I married a second time. 

"I helped to put in the first private refrigerator in Vancouver. It was electrically driven; anyway, they told us 
it was the first. Ross and Howard put it in the B.T. Rogers', of the B.C. Sugar Refinery, house on Davie 
Street — now the Angus Apartments. That was in 1906. It was not one of the fancy refrigerators they have 
now for houses. It was an old style affair — two separate parts, compression and ammonia — and he had a 
little electric motor to drive it. It was for the private use of his household." 

Grandviewin 1906. 

"Grandview is all settled up, houses and streets now; but do you know, in 1906 I walked from the head of 
False Creek right through by some trail to Douglas Road, and on to New Westminster. It was just a trail 
through the forest. I hardly know where the trail was, but it seems it was over in the direction of Hastings 
Street, but, somehow, I started at the head of False Creek." 

Conversation with Mrs. George Wilks, who very graciously called at the City 
Archives this afternoon and stayed for a cup of tea and cake, 27 February 1 947. 

She came alone, but her sons will call for her and take her home. Mrs. Wilks is eighty-one but very active 
physically and alert. She has a good memory. 


Mrs. Wilks: "I was born in Brassington, Derbyshire, March 29*^, 1866. My father was John Fearn, and my 
mother, Ellen Fearn, nee Brittain. We were a family of two boys and two girls. Sam, who was in the North 
West Rebellion in 1885, came to Canada, and William Henry. He came too — he is up at Prince Albert, 
Saskatchewan, now. Sam died here and is buried here. It was his youngest baby, Ralph, who was in here 
the other day. My sister, Elizabeth Ann, did not come to Canada. I am the youngest, Jane. I haven't any 

"My brother Sam's children are, the oldest was Eddie, they call him Samuel Edward; Harold, who is doing 
well up at Gibson's Landing. They are all doing well for that matter. Ed is a steward on one of the C.P.R. 
bigger boats. And there is a daughter — she is living in Seattle — Mary Evelyn, and then the youngest is 
Ralph who called in here the other day. But Sam was married before." (She did not wish to say more.) 

"My husband's mother was a Miss Ellen Brittain, a relative of Sir Harry Brittain, London, England. Sir 
Harry was her cousin. He has eleven initials after his name." 

Whitewood, Saskatchewan. 

"The two boys came to Canada about 1882, and they wrote back wanting the family to come. Then they 
got a soldier's land grant, 320 acres each, side by side, 640 acres, between Winnipeg and Yorkton. It was 
a wild country. I was attending school, and they wanted a housekeeper so they sent for me. My sister 
would not come as she was organist in a big church, so I came. I came on one of the Allan Line boats. It 
was in April, 1886. I had my trunk packed a year but on account of the Riel Rebellion I could not come. It 
was a wild place in those days. 


"I used to walk about four miles to get the mail and the Free Press from Winnipeg — to a house where the 
mail was left. The C.P.R. was twenty miles away. The air was so clear you could just hear the engine bell 
tolling on a frosty day. The name of the place was Whitewood. In the early days my brothers Sam and 
William were working in Manchester, and they did not get very big wages so they decided to strike out for 
a new world." 

Wolves. Ox wagons. 

"I got off the train at Whitewood, and my brothers were there to meet me with four oxen and a wagon. 
They had brought in with them two loads of wood, hoping to sell it, but no one wanted it so they dumped it 
on the street. We had to stay one night on the prairie on account of the wolves. We had to light a fire to 
keep them away. I only saw one pack of wolves but they frightened me." 

Congregational Church. First services. George W. Wilks. 

"Then, after I had stayed there about three years, I felt I would like to go back to England. It was a wild 
place, and not much of a place for women. So I went to Winnipeg, and was going to take a few days 
holiday there; then I saw an advertisement in the paper. Peace" (or Police) "Commissioner Wrigley" (sic) 
"wanted a ladies' maid. I went and applied for it and the young maid who received me said that she was 
getting married and when could I come. I told them I was taking a few days holiday. While there I 
attended the Congregational Church and that was where I met George. The minister was talking one 
night and they said Vancouver was a wild place — hadn't any streets, only trails. Mr. Wilks came out here 
in 1888, a year before I did. I did not come until 1889. He sent me a ticket and I came out and we were 
married by the Rev. Mr. Pedley in the Congregational Church on Georgia Street by Richards. The church 
was not built — they had the foundation but the roof was not on properly. 

"Before we had services in the new Congregational Church we had services on Carrall Street, upstairs. 
There was a dance hall — we were over a store and there was a dance hall above us. They used to go up 
and ask them not to dance so loud as there was a service going on below." 


"The room where the first services were held was on the west side of Carrall Street between Cordova and 
Water Street. Then we left that place and went to the new church on Georgia Street and I think we must 
have been the first couple married there. I don't know how it would have been possible for any bride and 
bridegroom to have been married before us as the church wasn't finished. 

"I was on the first train all right, but not the one which came into Vancouver. The train in those days 
stopped at Gleichen, near Calgary." 


"I have had trips to England — the longest I stayed there was six weeks — but all the rest of the time I lived 
in Vancouver. At first we lived on Harris Street, but it was only a trail and there was but one house further 
along. The road was so bad — Captain Bogart was the house beyond ours — but you could not take the 
rigs beyond our place. Sunday night, Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Burdis" (he was secretary to Mayor 
Oppenheimer; they lived on Campbell Avenue), "my husband and I would go down there to spend the 
evening and we'd take a lantern to light us home. Mr. Burdis used to make all the speeches for Mayor 
Oppenheimer. My oldest son, Howard, went to the Oppenheimer Street school, the first school. He was 
not quite six, but they took him. Gregory Thom was the teacher." 


"Water!! We got it from the ditch. All our neighbours across the road got it from the ditch until my husband 
dug the well. I helped him. It was good water. There was a spring across the road and we had to wait a 
while to fill our pails. The well we dug was pretty deep. We just threw a pail down with a rope and pulled it 
back by main force. Do you remember the time? It came in very handy — our well came in very useful. It 
was on the first of July — the pipeline across the First Narrows was broken and there was no water. I think 
it was the Abyssinia. It was a terrible time — there was no water or soft drinks, and it was a holiday, the 
first of July. A cart came around every day and they would let you have a small pail full, but our 
neighbours got it from our well. The Hotel Vancouver looked after the firemen" (with drinks) " — the firemen 
kept them well supplied. Not everyone had a well and the cart came around to those who did not." 



"One Sunday night in Pedley's Cliurcli" (Congregational) "tliere were three hundred men and ten women; 
so few women in Vancouver at that time." 

Mayor Fred Cope. "Soapy" Smith. 

"The bodies of Mayor Cope of Vancouver who was drowned in the Klondyke, and 'Soapy' Smith, the 
notorious desperado who was shot in a gun battle up north, came down on the same boat and they got 
the coffins mixed. Mayor Cope was given a civic funeral. I was at it — one of my children was in a 
perambulator and the other was walking with me. They had a band. Mayor Cope is buried in Mountain 
View Cemetery, but when 'Soapy' Smith's coffin arrived at Seattle, two women wanted to see the 
remains — wanted the coffin opened. It wasn't 'Soapy,' it was Mayor Cope. So the coffin was sent to 
Vancouver and the other was exhumed. The two coffins were quietly changed. But it was 'Soapy' who got 
the grand funeral." 

As told to me. 

J.S. Matthews 

27 February 1947. 

Conversation with Mrs. Jane Wilks, pioneer, 7826 Cartier Street, Kerr. 4340L, at 
THE City Archives — a surprise visit — on the afternoon of 27 January 1949; widow 
OF George William Wilks who died 1940. 

Mrs. Wilks is a very active lady for her age, though, of course, showing visibly the ravages of time. She 
walks, talks and moves rapidly. There is no sign of senility. She lives with her son, Mr. Edgar Wilks, at 
7826 Cartier Street, Kerr. 4340L. We talked of many things, quickly, and then she hastened off. 

Miss Bowes. Women's Christian Temperance Union. Young Men's Christian Association. 
Mrs. Henry Mutrie. Mutrie and Brown. Victorian Order of Nurses. Robert 
Leatherdale. Chain Gang. John Clough. Christ Church. 

Mrs. Wilks: (commenting as we jumped from one subject to another) "The chain gang. Robert 
Leatherdale, brother to Dan, used to drive the chain gang wagon when the gang went off from the Gaol 
on Powell Street to work on the rough lanes and streets. They used to mow the lawn of the City Hospital, 
too, and kept it in beautiful shape — flowers too. The men rode in the wagon, seated in rows. I have read 
some extraordinary stories in the newspapers recently about the chain gang." She looked, significantly, 
and then added, "They didn't look very savage. John Clough was in charge. One day I watched them 
opening that street — what do you call it — the one Christ Church is on — Georgia Street is close by, either 
Howe or Hornby, they were opening it. Christ Church at that time was just a hole in the ground just below 
where they were working." 

"Good Cheer" pamphlet. W.J. Trythall. 

"Miss Bowes was an active worker. She published a little pamphlet, 'Good Cheer'; fifty cents a month, 
printed by W.J. Trythall. We had many meetings of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in the 
upstairs of the Young Men's Christian Association — their first wooden building on Hastings Street. The 
Y.M.C.A. borrowed money from the Grey Nuns of Montreal, and they could not pay it back so they lost 
the second building, the brick one next door." 

Miss Hill, first V.O.N, nurse. 

"Mrs. Henry Mutrie" (of Mutrie and Brown, her husband was) "was quite a worker in the Women's 
Christian Temperance Union. Miss Hill, the first Victorian Order of Nurses nurse, lived with them on 
Cambie and Dunsmuir for a time, when she came first. 

"I used to go to the Y.M.C.A. building once in a while — take a cake with me. We had lots of meetings in 
that building— W.C.T.U." 


Note: this explains, and tlirows liglit on tine first Victorian Order of Nurses nurse, Miss Hill. She took her 
meals at the City Hospital — that was the contribution of the Hospital officials towards her endeavours and 
support. She resided with the Mutries nearby — a block away. Mrs. Wilks says Mrs. Mutrie was "quite a 
worker" in the W.C.T.U. and it would be natural for her to accept into her home a lady (Miss Hill of the 
V.O.N., just getting started) engaged in similar philanthropic humane effort. 

Mrs. Jane Wilks called at the City Archives at noon, just as I was having lunch, 


She lives at 7826 Cartier Street, Vancouver. I have had previous conversations with Mrs. Wilks. (Actually, 
this is a continuation of earlier ones. J.S.M.) 


"I got off the train, the Canadian Pacific Railway, at Whitewood, N.W.T.; I had come by myself from 
Derbyshire, England. My brothers, two, met me with four oxen. They brought in cordwood — Knowler and 
Macaulay took it for groceries, or anything, in trade. We started to go about half way to Yorkton; it was 
easily a day and a half before I got to my brothers' homestead; oxen don't go very fast; it would be more 
than 20 miles. We could not go that distance with oxen without a rest. We had to stay all night on the 
prairie. The wolves were very bad that winter, and we lighted a fire on the prairie to keep the wolves away 
from the oxen. 

"My brothers had 320 acres each; 640 acres. We could see the Indian Reserve at Round Lake; Mr. 
McLeod was the agent there. The house was a good big one; it was made of logs, but it was not like most 
log cabins. It had an upstairs and a basement or cellar, and a stairway. It had belonged to a man who had 
died and the North West Mounted Police had buried him on his own land. The Mountie told me they made 
a coffin for him; perhaps they did. I asked him if they did make the coffin and if he would show me the 
grave, but he would not do that. 

"There was a lot of beans in the house, about 1 8 or 20 pounds. I did not know how to cook them. I said to 
the Mountie that it must have been a bachelor's place; there were beans about the house. I told him I had 
tried and tried to cook them but could not make a success of it. So he asked to look at them and when I 
showed them to him he said, 'No wonder you could not cook them.' He said that the man had dried them 
in the oven and got them 'red hot' to put in his top boots, which were knee high, to dry his boots out. They 
were felt boots. 

"My brother wanted a pair of boots at Knowler and Macaulay's in trade for the cordwood, but he had a 
small foot and took size seven. They had only size eleven in stock, so my brother wore size eleven all 

"In those days we got our mail once in three weeks. What little mail we did get was left at a settler's cabin. 
The cabin was the post office. All it was was a cigar box with a few stamps inside, and a few odd pieces 
of paper, letters, and a newspaper or two; there wasn't much mail. When my brother Sam came out in 
1 882 (my oldest brother Sam came from Manchester) two of the young fellows where he worked came 
too. One went to New Zealand and one to Australia, and my brother to Canada. They promised to let 
each other know how they 'made out.' My brother gave me a letter to post to the one in Australia, so I 
went to this settler's cabin — a good long walk, I'll tell you. I took a big dog with me. The letter was 
addressed to 'Harry Bland, hairdresser, Melbourne, Australia.' I knew the people at the settler's cabin 
very well, so I asked how much it would cost to send this letter to Australia, but he said he didn't know. I 
said to him, 'Show me your Post Office Guide.' And he replied, 'What's that?' 

"My brother had given me 25 cents. So while the settler was looking up how much it would cost, I went 
and spoke to his children and was teaching them, until finally I went in again and thought he would know 
by that time how much it would cost. He said it would cost one dollar and a quarter, and he had it all 
covered with stamps. I doubt if Harry Bland ever got that letter. It was probably kept as a souvenir if he 

"The settler's children were 12 years old and could not read nor write; that is, the oldest boy was 12, but 
the settler had seven or eight more. 


"The Riel Rebellion was just over, and the Mounties used to come around regularly to see us. They had 
headquarters at Regina, but they had a regular route. The Indians were not fighting, but they were still 
waving the white flag when they approached my house. The Mountie used to get us to sign a paper 
saying that we were all right. We had to sign this paper when they came around on their regular routes. If 
there were any complains to make he would take it to Mr. McKay, the Indian Agent at Round Lake, and if 
there had been any complaints he would make it good. We never put in any complaints, but the Indians 
were pretty hard up. 

"The Mountie used to say that the best thing I could do was to give them food. Two big Indians came to 
the window. They were so big they almost covered the whole of the window and they kept going like this" 
(pointing with the tips of her fingers to her mouth, and moving her arms up and down) "to indicate that 
they were hungry. So the first time they came 'round — when they darkened the window — I opened the 
door, and they kept pointing to their mouths, so I gave them all the bread I had, and I got a white flour 
sack and filled it up with sugar and bread and flour and molasses — oh, aren't they fond of molasses! — 
and still they wanted more. 

Then I fetched some ham out of the bin and cut some big slices off and I thought they would go then. I 
gave it to one but the other picked up the rest of the ham, and took the whole thing. So, afterwards, when 
I looked out the door, I could smell cooking ham and I saw them by our plough lines cooking the ham — 
one woman, two men and one or two children. They stayed there all day. When I dared to look out I saw 
them with the white pony near the plough lines cooking the ham. The Indians came in a Red River cart, 
the white pony pulling it, and they went away in it. It squeaked so much I could hear it a mile away. It had 
wooden wheels, and the very centre of the wheels had a big tuft of buffalo hair. 

"The trouble with the Indians was that the buffalo were scarce and they were hungry. On account of the 
Riel uprising, they had no furs. They had not been hunting and they had not been fishing, and the buffalo 
were scarce or gone altogether — all gone south, if there were any. The Indians always waved a white flag 
when they approached the house. The next time they came they brought a boy with them. 

"Old William Buchanan was the magistrate. He had so much hair on him we called him 'Dogface.' 

"We did not have a school. When I taught school I just went to the settlers' homes. There was a Scotch 
family between us and Whitewood. There would not be more than four families between our place and 
Whitewood. There was Tom Reid, and Buchanan, the magistrate, and Alex Munn and Johnny something. 
His mother came out from England, and she got lost on the prairie. Finally she heard a cowbell and 
followed it. They found her and brought her home. Alex Munn was the man who put all the stamps on the 
letter. He put small denominations and covered it all over. Four families between us and Whitewood. 

"It was an awful long walk to Munn's to pick up the mail, but they would know when I was coming. I was 
supposed to come once in three weeks. There were no telephones, but they had lots of ponies, and they 
would let the children know when I was coming and when the weather was suitable — we had nine 
months' winter — and the children for miles around were brought to Munn's and I would teach them for 
three hours only, and then they would be taken home, until I came again in three weeks." 

Considering her many years, Mrs. Wilks is very alert, mentally and physically. She telephoned me first, to 
be sure I was able to receive her, and, on being assured that I would be awaiting her, replied, "I'll be there 
in half an hour." 

On arrival she joined me in a cup of tea and some biscuits, at my desk. 

I drew up a typewriter and commenced to type as she conversed. There was no hesitancy; indeed, at 
times, she spoke faster than I could get it down. 

Remarkable old lady; one of many such to whom we owe our great dominion and all the blessings which 
are ours today. 

J.S. Matthews 
25 August 1949 
11:00 p.m. 


Conversation with Mrs. Jane Wilks, 7826 Cartier Street, who kindly called at the 
City Archives this morning, 4 October 1 949. 

Mrs. Wilks is tine widow of George Williams Wilks, pioneer of Vancouver, who was born in Brassington, 
Derbyshire, 29 March 1864; came to Canada in 1882; served in the North West Rebellion. She arrived at 
Whitewood, Saskatchewan, from England in April, 1886. Both were pioneers of Vancouver, 1889. Mr. 
Wilks died in Vancouver in 1940. There are three sons. Mrs. Wilks is very active. 

On 1 November 1949, the Board of Parks Commissioners, Vancouver, gave a banquet to all pioneers of 
Vancouver resident here in 1889, or earlier. Mrs. Wilks attended, and a photograph of her talking to J.B. 
Marshallsay, emblematic of two old pioneers gossiping, appeared in the News-Herald the next morning. It 
is a unique photograph, and has been copied, by photography, and given the title of "The Builders of 

"Soapy" Smith of Skagway. 

Mrs. Wilks: "Soapy Smith was a peddler of cheap jewellery at Skagway during the gold rush. He thought 
he could make money faster, so he began selling soap. He cut the bars of soap in half and put one 
dollar — silver or bills, I don't know which — inside the soap. He sold hundreds of bars of soap, but there 
wasn't a dollar in each bar. My husband told me all about it, and so did Tom Thomas, a friend of ours. He, 
Tom, told me all about this fellow selling jewellery, and then soap. But 'Soapy' was not making money fast 
enough, so he got a gun and went around saloons making money that way. 

"The story goes — how true it is I don't know — that the body of Mayor Cope and that of Soapy Smith came 
down from Skagway on the same steamer and they got them mixed. Mayor Cope was given a big funeral, 
but it is claimed that when the other coffin got to Seattle, two women from Skagway, one of whom 
claimed Soapy was her husband, demanded that the coffin be opened, and, when it was, said that the 
dead man inside was not her husband. The story went that it was the body of Mayor Cope. There may be 
some other explanation, but that was what people told me." 

Congregational Church. 

"I belonged to the Congregational Church. I joined before they had a church at all. Afterwards we got a 
big fine one on Georgia Street, south side, near the corner of Richards Street. But when I joined, they 
were using a dance hall — an upstairs dance hall. It was down on Carrall Street, near Powell Street. I 
passed the place this morning — near the corner of Water and Carrall Street — across the street from a 
place where they hire loggers. It was upstairs. Rev. Mr. J.W. Pedley was the minister. There were only a 
few of us." 

Carrall Street. Klondyke rush. 

"Dog teams! Vancouver was full of them — not all huskies — taking them up the Klondyke. And the saloons 
open all night. Gambling, loud talking, but Seattle was the real loading place for the Klondyke. I was 
passing a corner saloon on Cordova Street, there was a loud bang and men came rushing out. I went into 
the saloon and saw the man who had been shot with a hole in his head. They carried him out and across 
the street to Hart's" (funeral parlour.) 

(Note: Hart's was on the north side of Cordova Street, near the corner of Carrall.) 


Conversation with Mrs. John Williams, 2050 Macdonald street, Kitsilano, widow 


Seaton Street (now West Hastings Street) who in response to our invitation 
called at the city archives this afternoon, 19 september 1946, remained for an 


Mrs. Williams is a tall lady of distinguished deportment and gracious manner — I should judge about sixty- 
five. She is the second wife of the late Mr. Williams. 


Mrs. Williams: "I don't know exactly what year I arrived in Vancouver. It was May 23'^'', either 1 898 or 
1 899. I think it must have been 1 898, but perhaps it was 1 899. I was just a girl at the time. Mr. Williams 
had been to Harrison Hot Springs and got on the train at Agassiz. That was how we first met. He was 
married before. Three of his sons are in England. He was ninety at the time of his death. 

"My own son, Gordon, lives here in Vancouver. He is John Gordon Williams" (they call him "Slim" 
Williams.) "He has a garage at 29*^ Avenue and Dunbar Street. They have two children: a son, Roy, who 
will be eleven on September 21 , 1 946; a daughter, Lorna, who will be nine in October, 1 946." 

After showing Mrs. Williams many things, maps, photos, dockets, etc., etc., we came to Goad's Map of 
Vancouver, 1893, folio 27, with plan of Red Cross Brewery, and on looking at it she said: 

RED Cross Brewery. 

"There it is, how well I recall it all. You know upstairs where we lived, there was a most beautifully 
furnished home." 

Australian-Canadian Trans-Pacific Air Service inauguration, first aeroplane 
FLIGHT, "All Red Route" by air, 17 September 1946. 

(See also page 50 [of original volume].) 

As we sat chatting, the door suddenly burst open, and Mr. Chas. A. Sutherland, Mayor's Secretary, 
appeared accompanied by Commander Taylor, three officers in uniform and two others in civilian clothes. 
Mr. Sutherland asked me to show them around. They were the commander and some of the crew of the 
historic Australian aeroplane Warana, which yesterday arrived from Australia via [blank] to inaugurate the 
Australian-Canadian Trans-Pacific Air Service and close the last gap in the "All Red Route" around the 
world by air. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_083 


Conversation, 15 July 1948, at my desk. City Archives, with Mr. John (commonly 
CALLED "Jack") Williams, 376 West 20™ Avenue (Fair. 0465R), pioneer, who arrived 
HERE 30 September 1888 on the Canadian Pacific Railway chartered steamship 
Duke of Westminster. 

Mr. Williams has resided in Vancouver — and Victoria — sixty years, and Mrs. Williams is living. They have 
four grandchildren. 


Mr. Williams: "As we came through the Narrows, the old Beaver was lying on the rocks. Afterwards I went 
out to Prospect Point to look at her. Then I blew up her engines with dynamite, and sold the old iron to a 
junk man." 

As told to me — J.S. Matthews 
City Archivist. 

Blowing up the Hudson's Bay Steamer Beaver. 

Note: many have told me, at various times, that the wreck of the old Beaver had been dynamited by relic 
hunters, but, until this late date, 15 July 1948, nothing authentic came to hand. 


[Letter from J.S. Matthews to Mrs. Stanley Williams.] 

The original was in handwriting. 

1158 Arbutus street 
Kitsilano Beach 
Vancouver 9, 

Dec. 10'^ 1953. 

Dear Mrs. Williams: 

A long stream of recollections flow as I wrap up this parcel with its annual tribute to you 
from me. I am not forgetful of the trials we shared in those early days of the City Archives, nor am 
I unmindful of your devotion through nine long years of tribulation and struggle. So long as the 
story of the preservation of the people of Vancouver is told, it must include the name of their 
faithful servant. Miss Margaret Giles. 

Last month, on the 17*, by petition of thirty public groups, the City Council added my 
name to the roll of Freemen of Vancouver. There were fourteen, now there are fifteen, and 
includes names known throughout the British Commonwealth. 

I accept the great honour which has been conferred as a recognition of much and to 
many, and, as a visible symbol was essential to demonstrate that recognition, I was found to be a 
suitable one. 

It has been promulgated throughout Canada and beyond the seas that the people of 
Vancouver cherish the story of the achievements of their Founders; that they esteem their 
records so highly that they have bestowed high honour upon the keeper of them, and — by 
inference — have expressed their grateful thanks to all, including yourself, who have aided in that 
laudable endeavor. They have intimated to other towns and cities in British Columbia, that they, 
too, might find profit and pleasure to themselves by emulating our example. 

I am sure you will accept this tribute to your early labors from the Citizens of Vancouver, 
as also from me, in the spirit of humility equal to my own, and we can join together in gratitude to 
Our Almighty that we were chosen for a task so useful and so honourable, and for the health and 
strength to perform our duty. 


All good wishes to Mr. Williams, to your dear children and to you. I grasp your hand. 
Good night 

Most sincerely, 

J.S. Matthews 

Mrs. Stanley Williams, 
Box 241 
Edmonton, Alta. 

Conversation with Lieutenant-Colonel W.J. Williams, E.D., of 38 Royal Avenue, 
New Westminster, who kindly called at the City Archives this afternoon, bringing 
with him a large framed photograph, touched with crayon, of the late sir 
Matthew Begbie, which he presented for safekeeping, (no date) July 1949. 

Mrs. Williams, his wife, passed away a month or more ago. 

Chief Justice Sir Matthew Begbie. 

Col. Williams: "This portrait was given to my late wife's father, Mr. C.F. Moore, of Victoria. He was a great 
friend of Sir Matthew. They used to play cards together. As you see, it was made by Mr. Eyres, 
photographer, Victoria, in 1894. Mrs. Williams, my dear wife, passed away last June 4*^, and it would be 
her wish that the portrait be placed where it will be taken care of. Will you please accept it. 

"This slip of paper, upon which is written, 'And believe me, ever yours truly. Matt B. Begbie,' came with 
the drawing when he presented it to Mr. Moore, but, unfortunately, the remainder of the letter was cut off 
by someone. 

"Mrs. Williams and I were married in Victoria in 1910. Her father, Mr. Moore, died during the First World 
War years. She was a school teacher at Big Bar Creek, Cariboo, during the 1 890s." 

Major Matthews: It is very kind of you. Colonel Williams. It was through Mr. W.J. Twiss that I learned that 
you had it. 

Col. Williams: "Mrs. Williams knew the Twiss family when both lived in Kaslo." 


Conversation with Alderman Frank Woodside, over the phone, at his office in the 
B.C. AND Yukon Chamber of Mines, Howe and Dunsmuir, 10 October 1953. 

Alderman Woodside is a very old Hastings Townsite pioneer — over fifty years residence there — and was 
the first alderman from Hastings Townsite after that part of Vancouver was annexed to Vancouver about 

Street names in and about Hastings Townsite. Yale Street. Trinity Street. Eton Street. 

Major Matthews: Mr. Woodside, how did those streets out in Hastings Townsite get their names? 

Mr. Woodside: "Yale, Trinity, Eton, all those college names? The Provincial Government men gave them 
to them before annexation. The old Douglas Road curved around George Black's hotel, and then the 
streets start Yale, Trinity, McGill, Eton, and so on. 

"I went out there in 1903, and in 1908 built the first two-storey house. There were only seven or eight 
houses — seven, I think — at the north end of Hastings Townsite then, and there were one or two at the 
south end, in the bush. All the rest of the land was in 40-acre blocks, and was bought by speculators." 

Vancouver Heights. Beacon Hill. 

Major Matthews: Was your house on Vancouver Heights? East of the park? 

Alderman Woodside: "Well, yes, but we called it Beacon Hill then. Gilley Bros, had a logging camp just 
east of Hastings Park." 

More street names. 

Major Matthews: Well, what about the street names lying north and south. That is Renfrew, Clinton, and 
so on. 

Alderman Woodside: "The Provincial Government named them after mining districts — Clinton, Lillooet, 
Rupert, Cassiar." 


Alderman Woodside is a miner — interested in mines — and on a previous occasion he told me he got them 
to name Le Roi Street after the Le Roi Mine. It has always been understood that Westminster Avenue 
"started it." After streets began to be opened up, north and south, the next was Victoria Road — then 
Nanaimo Road, and that gave them the idea of Kamloops, Clinton, Kaslo, and so on, mining districts as 
also cities. 

Shea locomotive. 

Major Matthews: I've got a photograph here of a "shay" engine. How do you spell it? 

Alderman Woodside: "Spell it S-H-E-A. A man named Shea invented it — all the power on a shaft working 
along the wheels on one side of the locomotive. That engine was on a little railway which ran from 
Rossland to the Hientze Smelter — Le Roi Mine — almost exactly where the Consolidated Mining plant is 
now at Trail." 


Shell Oil Company. First delivery of bulk gasoline. 

Conversation with Mr. Robert G. Woolsey, 6009 Kitcliener Street, Nortli Burnaby, B.C., wlio l<indly called 
at tine City Arcliives tliis morning, 28 January 1954, in connection witli tlie birtli certificates of liis son 
Wilfred and daughter Vera. 

Shell Oil Company, 1913. 

Mr. Woolsey: "I delivered the first bulk gasoline, by tank wagon — two-horse team — to Vancouver service 
stations, 24*^ June 1913. The storage tanks were on the Great Northern Railway tracks at the corner of 
Fifth Avenue East and Carolina. The gasoline came in by tank car from Seattle. I also helped to erect the 
storage tanks — there were only two at that time — perpendicular 1 0,000 gallon tanks. Mr. McKnight was 
the manager. Between the two of us we pumped the bulk gasoline by man power — four men on the 
pumps, two on each handle. And pump against a seventy-five foot head — it took more than two hours to 
pump a 6,000 gallon tank car." 

Russell Motor Co. 

"We had a 324 gallon tank wagon, divided into two compartments. We used that only for a couple of 
days, then another wagon arrived with five hundred gallons and we kept on going until, by September that 
year, we had four wagons going. The first delivery I made was to the Russell Motor Company down on 
Pender Street, close to Burrard Street. Mr. McKnight was salesman for them before he got into the Shell 
Oil. Mr. William McKnight was the first manager. He died with meningitis or something. He died in the 
General Hospital, isolation department — we were not allowed to see him. That was not so very long after 
the First War ended, somewhere about 1 920. 

"In 1914 the Shell Oil put on their first automobile truck, one thousand gallon. It was driven by Johnnie 
Watson, but we kept one tank wagon and horses. The others were discarded. In the fall of 1 91 5, they laid 
the horse-drawn wagon off and kept the one auto truck. It was during the war and the sale of gasoline 
was restricted. We were allowed to deliver no more than 1 ,200 gallons a day. 

"We also handled coal oil and lubricating oil, but it was all in drums and imported from Seattle. January 
1 91 5 was a bad month on account of the snow. The old horse-drawn wagons were still in the yard, so we 
put them to work again. We left the wheels on. We had no sleigh equipment, but we used horse-drawn 
wagons until the snow melted. The Company paid me $85.00 a month wages. The horses were mine and 
I fed and looked after them and got $85.00 for that. So that the total cost of their tank wagon gasoline 
delivery was $1 70.00 a month. I had a stable at Sixth Avenue and Caroline — rented. 

"In 1916, about February, I lost my contract. In 1916 they built storage tanks out at Barnet, and I started 
to work there in June 1916. They used to bring in the gasoline from California — one cargo came from 
Borneo, high test stuff — in tankers. We used to ship it from there to the Carolina Street plant by tank car. 

In 1 932 they built the new refinery. I was still working for them. I was Superintendent of the Barnet plant 
for sixteen years, that is, from 1916 to 1932. In 1932 they moved everything from Barnet to Shellburn. 
And, at the same time they closed the Carolina Street plant, and, after that the tank trucks loaded at 

"I left the Shell in 1 936. At the time I was in charge of the waterfront — loading cars, the dock and shipping, 
unloading the tankers, etc. 

"George McKinnon, manager. Main Office, Marine Building, is the only man who knows anything about 
the past of the Shell Oil now." 

Read and approved, 
"R.G. Woolsey" 
28 January 1954. 



Item # EarlyVan_v7_084 


In 1946, it was represented to Percy Halcro Buchan, 
a resident of Vancouver, son of Ewing Buchan and 
nephew of Lawrence Buchan, co-authors of "O 
Canada," Buchan version, that as he possessed a 
more intimate knowledge of his father's and uncle's 
composition than any other, he should enable us to 
preserve his recollections. 

Mr. Buchan kindly acquiesced. 

The Trustees and Governors 
City Archives 

February 28, 1947 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_085 



The Story of the Buchan Version 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_086 



The national patriotic air "O Canada" was compiled in 1875, eight 
years after Confederation, by Calixa Lavallee, an accomplished 
musician of French Canada. It was a nameless piece of music, in- 
tended by the composer to express in majestic harmonies the patriotic 
emotions of Canadians who loved their homeland, Lavallee attained 
his objective. That fact must be very apparent to everyone who has 
heard the air played by band or orchestra. 

Contrary to custom in the writing of patriotic songs, the music 
preceded the words. The original words, written in the same year, 
1875, were in the form of a four-stanza poem in French by the 
French-Canadian author and poet, the Honourable Judge Routhier. 

Twenty-five years or more elapsed before Lavallce's melody be- 
came known to the people of Canada outside of the Province of 
Quebec. Among them, the outstanding merits of the composition 
rapidly gained it favour and stimulated a widening desire for words 
in English to enable the air to be sung. A number of authors were 
fired with enthusiasm, and in due course several poems appeared, 
consisting of one or more stanzas. These contributions in English 
have been, for the lack of a better term, commonly referred to as 
"versions", although actually they have no relation whatever to the 
original French poem by Judge Routhier, or to one another for 
that matter, except that all commence with the words "O Canada" 
and all are synchronized to the Lavallee air. 

Of the seven or more so-called English versions, the two best 
known are the three-stanza poem by Mr. Justice R, S. Weir of 
Montreal, written in igoB, and the single stanza by Mr. Ewing 
Buchan of Vancouver, B.C., in 1909. The latter, for personal 
reasons of the author, has been credited to his brother, Brigadier 
General Lawrence Buchan, This narrative is chiefly concerned with 
the origin and purpose of the Buchan version. 


Lavallee's composition suggested "O Canada" in its opening 
chords. This interesting fact was disclosed by L. E. O, Payment in 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_087 


his historical article on the origin of the music and words, published 
in the Ottawa Citizen of July 24, 191 7. Mr. Payment was a relative 
by marriage of Ernest Gagnon, a practising barrister in the city of 
Quebec, who had a personal part in the incident. The article relates 
in a graphic manner the story as told by Mr. Gagnon : 

At one of the meetings held by the Quebec Academie de Musique 
in 1875, some time previous to the celebration of an anniversary in 
honor of Mgr, de Laval, it was proposed that the Association should 
take advantage of that occasion to introduce a patriotic song in the 
program. The idea immediately found favor with the members and 
it was decided to send a delegation to ask Calixa LavaJlee, then the 
leader of an orchestra in Quebec, to compose a piece of music that 
would be suitable for a national song. As musicians they thought only 
of the musical part of the proposed production, for to them, who inter- 
pret sounds as the expression of sentimentj and to whom words are 
unnecessary for the utterance of feeling, the music was the essential 
part of their projected national hymn. 

Mr. Ernest Gagnon and his brother, Gustave, who, until compara- 
tively recent years was organist of the Basilica in Quebec, were deputed 
to interview Lavallee on the matter. Upon the subject being broached 
to him, he immediately consented to submit a composition for the 
approval of the Academie. A relatively short time after, the composer 
announced his readiness to report. A day was set for the members to 
receive him but the Messrs. Gagnon were the only ones present, 

Lavallee presented not one but three compositions, a fact that estab- 
lishes the wonderful fertility of his genius. They were all submitted to 
the test and the air so popularly known was the one chosen. 

Shortly after, probably the next day, Mr, Ernest Gagnon, meeting 
the Honourable judge Routhier, with whom he was on most familiar 
terras, said to him, "You must write us a national hymn. We have a 
grand piece of music and all I want is the words," 

Taken by surprise, the Judge, not yet feeling the inspiration neces- 
sary for such a task, said, "But what could I say?" 

Mr. Gagnon, whose writings, though not in verse form, very often 
border on the highly poetic, having immediately mastered that mag- 
nificent melody whose strains had stirred his artistic soul to its greatest 
depths, had naturally found words to give utterance to his patriotic 
feelings, and he said, *'You might begin in this way; O Canada, terre 
de nos aieux." 

"Very well, I shall try it," said the Judge, and they parted. 

"When later on," said Mr. Gagnon to me, "he gave me the poem, 
I found it had started with the very words I had suggested." 

Thus ends Mr. Payment's narrative. It affords clear evidence that 
Lavaliee's composition, by its own stately measures, earned itself 
recognition as a fitting musical expression of Canadian patriotism, 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_088 


and thereupon created a desire for words to enable the air to be 
sung; and that the original words were supplied on special request 
in a fine poem in the French tongue by Judge Routhier. 


The Honourable Sir A. B. Routhier was possessed of very con- 
siderable literary talent, and in thus becoming the author of the 
said poem he produced a work of unquestionable merit. It is doubt- 
ful if any English translation synchronized to the Lavallcc air could 
do it a fair measure of justice. Nevertheless, its lines are devoted to 
symbols and sentiments dear to the patriotic soul of French Canada. 
These could scarcely have an equivalent value as song material for 
English-speaking Canadians — hence the English "versions." The 
four stanzas of the Routhier poem, with an accompanying literal 
translation in English, bear their own witness to the truth of the 
foregoing comments. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_089 



Words by the Honourable Judge Routhier 


1 . O Canada ! Terre de nos aieux, 

Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux ! 

Car ton bras salt porter I'epee, 

II salt porter la croix ! 

Ton histoire est une epopee 

Des plus brilliants exploits, 

Et ta valeur, de foi trempee, 

Protegera nos foyers et nos droits. 

2 . Sous I'oeil de Dteu, pres du fleuve geant, 
Le Canadien grandit en esperant. 

II est ne d'une race fiere ; 

Beni fut son berceau. 

Le del a marque sa carriere 

Dans ce monde nouveau. 

Toujour? guide par sa lumiere, 

II gardera I'honneur de son drapeau. 

3. De son patron, precurseur du vrai Dieu, 
II porte au front I'aureole de feu, 
Ennemi de la tyrannie 

Mais plein de loyaute 

II veut garder dans rharmonie 

Sa fiere liberte ; 

Et par TefTort de son genie, 

Sur notre sol asseoir la verite. 

4. Amour sacre du trone et de I'autel, 
Remplis nos coeurs de ton souffle immortel ! 
Parmi les races etrangeres, 

Notre guide est la loi : 
Sachons ctre un peuple dc freres 
Sous le joug de la foi. 
Et repetons, conime nos peres, 
Le cri vainqueur, "Pour le Christ et le Roi" ! 
Note: The last line of each stanza is repeated when sung to the Lavallee air. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_090 


A literal translation of Judge Routhier's poem : 

1 . O Canada ! Land of our forefathers, 

Thy brow is wreatlied with a glorious garland of flowers ! 

As is thy arm ready to wield the sword 

So { also ) is it ready to carry the cross ! 

Thy history is an epic poem 

Crowded with brilliant exploits. 

Thy valour, steeped in faith, 

Will protect our hearths and our rights. 

2. Under the eye of God, beside the mighty river, 
The Canadien grows up (filled) with hope. 
He is born of a proud race ; 

Blessed was hLs cradle. 

Heaven has watched over his career 

In the new world. 

Ever guided by its light, 

He will guard the honour of his fiag. 

3. For his emblem, (as a) herald of the true God, 
He wears on his brow a wreath of fire. 
Enemy of tyranny, 

But loyal to the core. 

He desires to preserve in peace 

His proud liberty ; 

And by his spiritual endeavour, 

To plant the truth on our soil. 

4. Sacred love of throne and altar, 

Fill our hearts with thy immortal spirit ! 

(Settled as we are) among races strange (to us) 

Our guide is the law ( of the realm ) : 

Let us know how to be a nation united as brothers 

Under the yoke of a (mutual) trust. 

And let our battle-cry, handed down from our ancestors, 

Be "For Christ and the King" ! 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_091 


"the maple leaf forever 

For some obscure reason "O Canada" did not command the 
attention of Anglo-Canadians until the beginning of the present 
century. During the intervening period after Confederation in 1867, 
patriotic sentiment found expression in other songs, among wfiich 
"The Maple Leaf Forever" achieved well-deserved preference. This 
song, written in 1871 by Alexander Muir, a Toronto school princi- 
pal, was brought to public notice on the voices of school children. 
Despite the fact that its musical and poetic quahties were not of a 
very high standard, it rapidly gained popularity and held supremacy 
against all competition for many years, during which it was played 
or sung on every occasion, pubhc or private, as the national patriotic 
air of Canada. 

'o Canada" reaches Ontario 

According to a feature article published in the 1907 Christmas 
Globe (Toronto), "O Canada" had its first pubhc presentation in 
the Province of Ontario during the fall of 1901, the air having been 
played by massed bands at the Toronto Exhibition Grounds on the 
occasion of the historic visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall 
and York. Its initial perfonnance by the famous Mendelssohn Choir, 
under the direction of Dr. Vogt, took place in Massey Hall, Toronto, 
during February 1907, where it made a profound impression on a 
vast audience. On that occasion a translation of Judge Routhier's 
words was sung to an eight-part arrangement by Dr, T. B. Richard- 
son of Toronto. 

THE WEIR "version" 

In keeping with the interest aroused by these events, Collier's 
(Toronto) offered a prize for the best three-stanza song in English, 
set to the Lavallee air. The prize was awarded in 1909 to Recorder 
Stanley Weir of Montreal, known later as Mr. Justice R. S. Weir. 
Due to excellent publicity resulting from the competition, the Weir 
poem gained prominence as the most-favoured English "version," 
However, public opinion has been divided. Many Canadians, dis- 
satisfied with the expression of patriotic sentiment therein, have 
shown strong preference for other versions more in keeping with 
their feelings. The three stanzas of the Weir version are as follows : 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_092 



1 . O Canada ! our home and native land ! 
True patriot-love in all thy sons command. 
With glowing hearts we see thee rise, 
The True North strong and free, 

And stand on guard, O Canada, 
We stand on guard for thee. 

Ref : O Canada, glorious and free, 

We stand on guard, we stand on guard for thee, 
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. 

2. O Canada ! where pines and maples grow, 
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow. 
How dear to us thy broad domain, 

From East to Western Sea 

Thou land of hope for all who toil, 

The True North, strong and free. 

Ref: O Canada, glorious and free, 


3. Ruler Supreme, who hearest humble prayer, 
Hold our Dominion in Thy loving care : 
Help us to find, O God, in Thee 

A lasting rich reward, 

As waiting for the Better Day, 

We ever stand on guard. 

Ref : O Canada, glorious and free, 


The Buchan version had its origin under quite different circum- 
stances. The author, a resident of Vancouver, B.C., even had he 
been aware of Collier's prize competition, which actually was not 
the case, would have felt no urge to enter. Having fallen in love 
with the beauty of the music he had a conviction that his fellow 
citizens would likewise respond to the spirit of the air and would 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_093 


sing it if they had appropriate words. Not being able to find any- 
thing suitable^ he set himself the task of producing one English 
stanza embracing those sentiments which he believed every loyal 
Canadian would gladly sing. 

It is an interesting fact that the origin of the Buchan version can 
be traced to an incident in the self -same city of Quebec where "O 
Canada" had its origin. In July 1908, the tercentenary celebration 
of Champlain's founding of the city was made a great national 
event. The military review of 12,000 troops by the Prince of Wales 
(well remembered as our late King George V) was the occasion 
for the playing of "O Canada" by the massed bands of the garrison. 
It has been recorded that the Prince was so impressed by the stirring 
nature of the music that he inquired, "What is that magnificent 

Brigadier-General Lawrence Buchan, c.v.o., c.m.g., a.d.c, who 
was in command of the garrison at Quebec during the tercentenary 
celebration, likewise was immensely impressed by the music; and 
later in the year, having procured a copy of the song published by 
Whaley, Royce & Co. Ltd., Toronto, he sent it to his brother, Ewing, 
then manager of the Bank of Hamilton, Vancouver, B.C. 

The copy referred to, entitled "Chant Nationale," was a four- part 
song with a piano accompaniment, arranged and edited by Dr. 
T. B. Richardson, the French words by the Honourable Judge 
Routhier being supplemented by an EngUsh translation. The song 
was sung many times in our home at 1 1 1 4 Barclay Street, my elder 
sister, Olive, playing the piano accompaniment. Ewing Buchan, who 
had a natural fondness for songs of a national or patriotic character, 
became deeply stirred by the stately beauty of the music. However, 
he failed to be impressed by the English words of the Richardson 

It happened in 1908- 1909 that he was second vice-president of 
the Canadian Club of Vancouver, The custom of the Club was to 
open its luncheon proceedings with a toast to the King, followed by 
singing the National Anthem, "God Save the King," and to close 
with the first verse of "The Maple Leaf Forever." Having "O 
Canada" in mind, he resolved to urge its substitution for "The 
Maple Leaf Forever" at all functions of the Club and to that end 
devoted a considerable part of his leisure during the winter evenings 
of 1908, to quiet reflection on the matter. Eventually he produced 
appropriate words in a single stanza, which he believed would be 
easy to memorize and sing, and in the spring of 1909 these were 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_094 


lirigatlit'r-GoiiL'ral Liiwrt-rKe Kuthan, c.v.o., c.m.g,, a,i>,(; 
co-author, *'0 Canada" 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_095 


Ewitig Buchan, co-authorj "O Canada" 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_096 


forwarded to his brother, Lawrence, for criticism. 

It should be remarked that the General possessed considerable 
talent as a writer of verse, which he was wont to sing at social 
gatherings and mess functions for the entertainment of his numerous 
friends. He readily overcame certain difficulties his brother, Ewing, 
had encountered in synchronizing the stanza to the Lavallee air, and 
through the kindness of his friend, Brenton A. MacNab of the 
Montreal Star, a number of copies of the rearrangement were struck 
off on small printed slips, some of which he sent to Ewing at Van- 
couver, A brief introductory paragraph stated that the words of the 
verse were the work of Ewing Buchan, rearranged by MacNab and 

The moment is now opportune to present certain historical data 
concerning the two Buchans. 


Lawrence and Ewing Buchan were the youngest sons of David 
Buchan of "Braeside", Lawrence being the eleventh child and 
Ewing, the thirteenth and last. Their mother, Jane (nee GrifTith) of 
Welsh descent, was a native of Chester, England. 

In 1834, David Buchan, who was the eldest son of James Buchan, 
a Glasgow manufacturer, took passage from Liverpool with his wife, 
two small daughters and a nurse. After a somewhat eventful three 
months' voyage in the ship Waverly, he arrived at New York, and 
thereafter journeyed via the Erie Canal to the town of York, Upper 
Canada, settling near the present town of Paris, Ontario, on an 
estate in Brant County, which he named "Braeside" after his former 
place of residence in the township of South Dumfries, Scotland. 
Eventually he became interested in affairs in Toronto and about 
1864 gave up "Braeside" to reside with the remainder of his family 
at "Halcro House" situated on the north side of Bloor Street at the 
head of Jarvis Street. David Buchan was prominent in a number of 
local activities, notably as bursar of the University of Toronto from 
1853 to his death in 1877. 

Lawrence and Ewing were brothers-in-law of Sir John Alexander 
Boyd, the eminent jurist who was chancellor of Ontario from 1 88 1 
to 1916. They were not related to John Buchan, the Scottish novelist 
and historian who, as Lord Tweedsmuir, was Governor-General of 
Canada, 1936 to 1941. 

(Torontonians may identify "Halcro House" as the yellow bricli portion of 
Bloon'iew Hospital. Home and School operated by The Home for Incurable 
Children, since 1906.) 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_097 


Lawrence was bom at "Braeside" January 29, 1847, and Ewing 
at Toronto, August 11, 1852. Both sons, after attending the Paris 
grammar school, completed their education at Upper Canada Col- 
lege, Toronto. Although of Scottish and Welsh descent, unquestion- 
ably they were Canadians, bom and educated. 


The military career of Lawrence Buchan commenced in 1872 as 
an ensign in the Queen's Own Rifles, Toronto. In 1881 he moved 
to Brandon, Manitoba, and upon the outbreak of the Riel Rebel- 
lion in 1885, was appointed adjutant of the 90th Winnipeg Rifles 
with the rank of major. For gallantry in the actions at Fish Creek 
and Batoche, he was mentioned in despatches by General Middle- 
ton. Upon the close of that campaign he joined the Canadian 
permanent Force and eventually attained the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel in the Royal Canadian Regiment. In the South African 
War, with the rank of major, he again saw active service in 1899- 
1900 as second-in-command of the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, 
R.G.R., 1st Canadian Contingent, being twice mentioned in des- 
patches and receiving the honor G.M.G. with promotion to brevet 
of colonel. Later he was appointed honorary A.D.G. to the 
governor-general, and in 1908 had C.V.O. conferred upon him, 
with promotion to the rank of brigadier-general. During the years 
1908- 1909 he was officer commanding at Montreal Headquarters, 
Quebec Command. 

Lawrence Buchan had an enviable record as a gallant and efficient 
officer, especially in the field, where his skill and resourcefulness as 
a commander and his coolness under fire set an inspiring and 
steadying example. He was greatly beloved by his men for his 
genial personality and for the considerate treatment they invariably 
received, notwithstanding that they knew him to be a strict disci- 
pUnarian, These qualities gained him a wide circle of friends 
throughout the Dominion and overseas. 

Here is what R. C. Hubly of "G" Company, R.C.R. had to say 
of Lawrence Buchan in his book entitled "Every day life of the 
R.C.R." published in 1902 : 

Every man really did like him so that he was known as "Good Old 
Larry," Who that saw him pass by with that large, red, jovial face, 
could help liking him? Who that heard his cheery voice, as he tried to 
brace us up, could do else but like him? When we drilled for him, we 
did it with a snap, for "Larry" stimulated us with judicious commenda- 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_098 


tion. Larry always treated us as men. Who was it that jumped on a 
wagon on Christmas Day, but could scarcely be heard for cheers, as he 
wished us a Merry Christmas? Larry it was, with hearty goodwill look- 
ing out of his eyes, with hearty goodwill shining from his large, red, 
jovial face, and hearty goodwill in every tone of his voice. 


Ewing Buchan followed civilian pursuits, principally in the bank- 
ing profession, although during some of his earlier years he was 
engaged in two stock-broking partnerships in Toronto, the first 
being with his brother Lawrence, under the firm name of Buchan 
Brothers. This firm was dissolved when Lawrence moved to Bran- 
don in 1 88 1. The second, known as Gzowski & Buchan, continued 
until 1888, the year Ewing Buchan became identified with the 
Bank of Hamilton. The name Gzowski is of special interest to 
British Columbians because C. S. Gzowski, a son of the partner, 
will be remembered as a principal in the firm of Macdonald & 
Gzowski, engineers and contractors, who constructed the Canadian 
Pacific Railway Company's famed Spiral Tunnels at Field, B.C. 

Ewing Buchan remained in the employ of the Bank of Hamilton 
until his superannuation in 19 13. During his entire period of ser- 
vice he held positions as manager, first at Toronto, then for ten 
years at Owen Sound, and finally at Vancouver, where he arrived 
in 1904 to take charge of the main office in the old Inns of Court 
Building on Hastings Street, now the Victory Square Branch, 
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Following his retirement, he 
continued active in the banking profession as liquidator of the de- 
funct Bank of Vancouver, the duties of which position he discharged 
with characteristic skill and thoroughness, notwithstanding his 
cordial dislike of the job because of the contingent distress and 
hardship borne by numerous unfortunates for whom he had pro- 
found sympathy. 

He was a man of studious habits, which enabled him to acquire, 
among other subjects, an extensive knowledge of finance. He early 
achieved considerable fame as the author of Buchan's Sterling Ex- 
change Conversion Tables, the first edition of which was published 
in 1 886, a work that involved a fantastic amount of labour to com- 
plete. These tables were widely used both in Canada and the 
United States until the start of the First World War in 1914. 

In his younger days he was fond of outdoor sport, having been 
one of the first captains of the Toronto Bicycle Club and one of the 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_099 


first officers of the Toronto Canoe Club, During his later years he 
became deeply interested in business associations and patriotic 
societies and is remembered as president of the Vancouver Board 
of Trade in 1910, and president of the Canadian Club of Van- 
couver in 1 9 1 1 . Like his brother, Lawrence, he possessed a charm- 
ing person ah ty, and was greatly esteemed by everyone because of 
his sterling character, high ideals and his broadminded interest in 
men and affairs. 


Having digressed to sketch the principal characters, we are now 
in position to continue the narrative. 

Lawrence and Ewing were almost inseparable companions dur- 
ing their youth and although their paths seldom crossed in later 
life, they retained to the end an affectionate admiration for one 
another. In the fall of 1909 they met in Vancouver for the last 
time, the occasion being the General's inspection of the local mih- 
tary establishment. Unfortunately, Lawrence Buchan contracted 
pneumonia during his western trip and died in the Royal Victoria 
Hospital on October 7, 1909, a short time after his return to Mon- 
treal. This event was a severe blow to Ewing and resolved him to 
bestow the entire credit for the Buchan version of "O Canada" on 
the General as a memorial in the minds of the Canadian people. 
That is the reason why the stanza must forever bear the name of 
Lawrence Buchan, 

With this purpose in mind, Ewing Buchan apparently destroyed 
in his private files, every trace of his own authorship of the verse. 
Had it not been for a personal letter to me from the General, en- 
closing a few of Brenton MacNab's printed slips, which, unbe- 
known to Ewing Buchan, I received in April 1909, on the eve of 
graduation from the University of Toronto, the actual facts of my 
father's authorship of the verse would have been exceedingly diffi- 
cult to estabhsh. These sUps and the General's letter were treasured 
with college mementos and were not discovered until about four 
years after Ewing Buchan's death, which occurred on July 13, 
19 18, while I was on active service in France. 


It has already been stated that Ewing Buchan's motive in writ- 
ing the stanza was to provide "O Canada" with words suitable for 
the Vancouver Canadian Club. The song had its introduction at 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_1 00 


the dose of a luncheon meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 19 10, 
in old Pender Hall, situated on the upper floor of the present two 
storey building at the southwest corner of Pender and Howe Streets. 
After some brief introductory remarks by Captain William Hart- 
McHarg, a quartette, accompanied by Miss Grace Hastings at the 
piano, led the first singing of "O Canada" by a Vancouver audi- 
ence and the first performance of the Buchan version within the 
Dominion. The quartette was memorable because it comprised four 
well-known citizens, namely, H. J. Cave, Fred Dyke, James Sclater 
and Wm, Hart-McHarg. Eventually it became the custom of the 
club to close its meetings with the singing of "O Canada" instead 
of "The Maple Leaf Forever." 




^. ^af. 

Jfc^ ^s^tcct Thucji^. 

Original In Buchan docketj City ArchiveSj Vancouver 

It was a genuine pleasure and satisfaction to Ewing Buchan to 
thus witness the successful culmination of his dream, the more so 
because "my brother's words" (the expression he customarily used 
when referring to the stanza) was the first version adopted by the 
Vancouver Canadian Club. In this choice the club steadfastly re- 
fused to be influenced by the parent body. It is recorded that the 




Convention of Canadian Clubs in 1920 recommended the adoption 
of the Weir version, a decision which the Association of Canadian 
Clubs has not yet been persuaded to vary, notwithstanding the 
efforts of the local club. The last notable one, in 1922, was un- 
successful, probably because the Most Rev, Archbishop A. U. 
DePencier, past-president, having unavoidably been delayed en 
route to the convention at Hamilton, Ontario, arrived after the 
vote had been taken. The Buchan version lost out owing to the 
lack of a powerful advocate in the person of the Archbishop. 

The following verse is synchronized 
to the air of the beautiful song, "O 
Canada." It is intended to suggest the 
expression of Imperial as well as Cana- 
dian patriotism. 

The words are by Mr. Ewing Buchan, 
of Vancouver, revised by Mr. Brenton 
A. Macnab, of The Montreal Star, and 
by Brigadier General Lawrence Buchan, 
C.V.O., C.M.G., A.D.C.: 

O Canada! our heritage, our love, 
Thy worth we praise all other lands 
From sea to sea, throughout thy length, 

from pole to borderland. 
At Britain's side, whate'er betide, 

unflinchingly we'll stand. 
And as we sing, "God Save the King," 
"Guide Thou the Empire wide," do we 

"And prosper Canada from shore to 

Montreal, April 25, 1909. 

Original in Buchan docket, City Archives, VMicouver 

One of the "bunch of slips" mentioned in Lawrence Buchan's letter on page 
19. These slips were copies of the first printed version of "O Canada! our 
heritage, our love." 





O Canada ! our heritage, our love, 

Thy worth we praise, all other lands above. 

From sea to sea, throughout thy length. 

From pole to borderland. 

At Britain's side, whatc'cr betide, 

Unflinchingly we'll stand. 

With heart we sing, "God save the King", 
"Guide thou the Empire wide," do we implore, 
"And prosper Canada from shore to shore." 

A few moments reflection on the above stanza will disclose that it 
embraces, cither by written word or by inference, a wide range of 
thoughts that would naturally occur to a loyal Canadian when sing- 
ing of Canada. To condense so much feeling into so few lines 
required a very careful choice of words, every one of which had to 
be weighed. No phrase could be allowed to stand unless the author 
felt that it gave a full measure of meaning for the space it occupied. 
It was this fact which brought about the interesting alteration in 
the seventh line. Comparison of the original wording (sec the repro- 
duction of Brenton MacNab's slips) with the above stanza, will 
disclose that the phrase "And as we sing" has become "With heart 
we sing" in the final wording. 

A year or two after the of his brother Lawrence, Ewing 
Buchan became dissatisfied with the phrase "And as we sing". For 
one thing, he felt that the seventh fine should in some way convey 
the idea of fervour, in token of the fact that it expresses an appeal 
to the Almighty for the preservation of the King, followed in the 
last two lines by a prayer for guidance and protection of the far- 
flung Empire and His watchful care over Canada. Furthermore, 
the author of the stanza desired to introduce into the wording an 
avowal of faith in the wisdom and power of the Almighty, a belief 
which wa.s strongly held by the author himself. With these thoughts 
in mind, he decided to make a substitution for the phrase "And 
as we sing", which would strengthen the line in the desired manner. 

I well remember the effort Ewing Buchan made to find a phrase 
of sufficient brevity to fit the rhythm of the song. He spent many 
an hour weighing words and meanings before he finally settled on 
the present rendering, "With heart we sing". When one thinks 
about it in the strictly poetic sense, the phrase conveys the idea of 
ardent faith perfectiy. 


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"BraosidR," in Brant County, near Paris, Ontario. 
Residence of D;i\id and Jane Buthan, and hirthplace of Lawrence, their son. 

Residence of Pawing Biichan, i ! 14 Bartlay Street, Vancouver, summer, igco. 
Here, in this home, "O Canada," Buchan version, was composed. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_105 


Austria, Belgium, Czecho-Slovakia, France, Holland, Norway and Poland all 
lie prostrate, crushed in defeat; the United States alone is friendly. Now, in this 
hour of peril, and whilst the British Isles, last solitary stronghold of freedom in 
Europe, steadfast and resolute, awaits in defiant expectancy an attempted in- 
vasion by hordes of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, these signs, eight feet six 
by twenty, this being the original drawing, are displayed throughout Vancouver, 
in symbol proclaiming, perfectly, the emotions of our people. 

J. S. Matthews, City Archivist, 
25th July, 1940 

NOTE : The meaning of the motto on the banner "At Britain's Side, 
What E'er Betide" intended by the author of the Buchan 
version is explained on page 28. 

Item # EarlyVan_v7_1 06 



In October 1912, Ewing Buchan, through the co-operation of 
Philip E. Boyd, enlisted the services of Dr. Albert Ham, organist 
at St. James Cathedral and conductor of the National Chorus, 
Toronto, in providing a setting of Lavallee's "O Canada" harmon- 
ized to the Buchan stanza. Philip Boyd, a resident of Toronto, is 
a son of Sir John Alexander Boyd, previously mentioned, and 
nephew to Lawrence and Ewing Buchan. Being both a member of 
the National Chorus and a friend of Dr. Ham, he took a keen per- 
sonal interest in the idea and rendered valuable assistance in follow- 
ing it through. 

Dr. Ham readily accepted the proposal, stating that he thought 
the words were the best he had ever seen. His arrangement, which 
fully retained the majesty of the original music (an opinion ex- 
pressed by Walter Damrosch, the eminent American conductor and 
composer) was published by Novello and Co. Ltd., London, 
England, in two settings, one a vocal score on a single sheet, and 
the other a four-part choral arrangement as reproduced herewith. 
A number of these reached Vancouver for distribution to the 
Canadian Club and other organizations. The National Chorus used 
Dr. Ham's arrangement in their concert programmes as late as 
1923 (Refer to pages 31 to 33). 


That the Buchan version enjoyed increasing popularity in British 
Columbia was mainly due to a sustained effort of the Canadian 
Club of Vancouver to bring it to public notice. During the many 
years' secretaryship of J. R. V. Dunlop, who was most assiduous 
in this work, cards bearing the words printed by the firm of Clarke 
and Stuart Ltd., were distributed at every luncheon meeting. Also 
the club placed forty thousand of these cards in the hands of school 
children. This method of building up pubhc interest in the song 
originated during the First World War; and J. G. Todhunter, 
manager of the Clarke and Stuart firm during that period, who 
became deeply impressed with the stanza, is frequentiy mentioned 
in Ewing Buchan's private correspondence as having rendered valu- 
able assistance and advice in furthering the objective. 

Staunch support between the First and Second World Wars was 
contributed by several organizations, notably the Women's Cana- 
dian Club, and the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Vancouver. Their 




voluntary example and publicity exerted powerful influence in 
stimulating public interest. 

It was to be expected that the existence of two strongly sponsored 
English versions, the Buchan and the Weir, with consequent division 
of opinion into rival camps, would result in controversy. This cul- 
minated in a spirited discussion in the press during 1929 and 1930, 
followed by sporadic eruptions in subsequent years. These discus- 
sions, highlighted by occasional acrimonious exchanges characteristic 
of "Letters to the Editor", served to heighten public interest in the 
Buchan version, by reason of which it gained rather than lost 
ground in British Columbia. 


Warm tribute has been paid to the Buchan version by men prom- 
inent in Canadian public life, such as the Marquis of Aberdeen, 
former governor-general, the Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, 
premier, and General Sir Arthur Currie, G.O.C. Canadian Corps 

A letter written in November 1929, by Harry Baldwin, the 
premier's secretary, thanking the Vancouver Board of Trade for 
its entertainment of Mr. Mackenzie King on the occasion of his 
recent visit is quoted in part as follows: 

The Premier was struck with the singing of "O Canada" at the 
Board of Trade meeting. I shalJ be much obliged if you will let me 
have a copy of the words used. We have listened to a great many 
versions of "O Canada" during the present tour and I know of none 
which sounded so fine. 

The publicity given to this mnocent and quite gratuitous expres- 
sion of the premier's opinion acted like a match to gunpowder, and 
touched off the controversy already alluded to, which raged in the 
pre^ for months afterwards. 

A personal letter from Sir Arthur Currie addressed to myself in 
December 1929, contained the following interesting comments: 

This was the first version I knew. I remember reciting the stanza 
in a little speech I made to the officers of the 5th and 6th BattaHons, 
who crossed to England in 19 14 on the ship Lapland with me. I was 
always greatly impressed with the fine sentiment it expressed and often 
thought what a pity it was that we did not have more from General 
Buchan' s pen. I am delighted now to learn of your father's association 
with it. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_1 08 



The Buchan version was written during the reign of King Edward 
VII. Britain and the Empire were at the zenith of their pestige. 
The stanza presented on page 2 1 , reflects what the author believed 
to be, the sentiments of loyal Canadians under conditions which 
in those days, practically everyone took for granted. It averred that 
Canada, as a member of the British family of natioas, termed "the 
Empire wide", freely accepting her responsibilities with loyalty and 
courage, proclaimed her intention to stand by her allegiance to the 
Crown and the Mother Country. Ewing Buchan definitely had that 
thought in mind. 

It should be emphasized that the Buchan version was intended 
to satisfy a practical need for brevity, the single stanza being quite 
adequate for English-speaking Canadians to sing wholeheartedly 
this inspiring national air. The author, knowing that by custom 
people sang only the first verse of "God Save the King", except 
perhaps during religious services, was convinced that more than 
one stanza would be superfluous. 

Ewing Buchan found it no easy task. The stanza does not measure 
up to the artistic perfection of Judge Routhier's French poem; but 
nevertheless it is complete in itself, it adequately expresses the desired 
sentiments, it is easy to memorize and easy to sing. Although its 
poetic merits may not be of a high order, the somewhat rugged 
sincerity of its lines ought to commend it to the Canadian people 
for the purpose it was written. Furthermore, the stanza is suitable 
for Canadians to sing wherever they may be, at home or abroad. 

No background could be more in keeping with the spirit of the 
Buchan version than the devotion of two native-born Canadians 
to the service of their country, the one a soldier, the other a civilian, 
together with the example of unselfish brotherly admiration and 
affection portrayed in the story. 


The spirit of the stanza can be set forth in no more convincing 
way than by quoting two recorded statements of the author, the 
first of which appeared in a personal letter to Sir Percy Sherwood, 
Cfiief Commissioner of Police, Ottawa, dated April 10, 1917, and 
reads as follows: 

(The verse) was adopted by the Vancouver Canadian Club because 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_1 09 


it contained Canadian and Imperial sentiment as well as recognizing 
the Almighty. 

The second quotation occurred in an address on "Exchange", 
given before the Pacific Coast Section of the Canadian Bankers' 
Association on April 4, 1918. In a reference to Canada's part in 
the war and her relationship to Britain, Ewing Buchan said : 

We love the Motherland and her people, and we Canadians should 
be and are devoutly thankful that we constitute an integral part of the 
great British Empire, and can fervently say, 

"At Britain's side, whate'er betide. 
Unflinchingly we'll stand." 

We are glad to take our part in assisting her and her allies in the fight 
for liberty and right; and when the war is over, our sentiments may be 
expressed in the words: 

"Standing on what too long we bore 
With shoulders bent, and down cast eyes. 

We may discern, unseen before, 
A Path to higher destinies. 

Nor deem the irrevocable past 
As wholly wasted, wholly vain, 

If rising on its wreck at last 
To something nobler, we attain." 

How aptly the foregoing remarks of Ewing Buchan would have 
fitted the critical times Canada recently passed through, had he 
been alive to repeat them in April 1 945 ! 




O CANADA- 1964 

The march of time since the first decade of the twentieth century 
has brought about many changes in our national outlook. Our 
reigning sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II, the British Empire of 
King Edward VII has resolved itself into the British Common- 
wealth of Nations, and our world has witnessed sweeping changes 
in governments and centres of power, Canada has become a nation, 
her growing influence in Commonwealth and world affairs is in- 
creasing her responsibilities year by year. Among the new genera- 
tions of Canadians arc many native-born who regard the British 
Empire only as history, and a multitude of Canadians by adoption 
who speak English, are not of British origin. 

I have no doubt that Ewing and Lawrence, brothers and co- 
authors of the Buchan version, would have recognized the need 
for appropriate modification of the sentiment therein had they 
been alive today. Being a son of Ewing and a nephew of Lawrence, 
it has fallen to my lot to change the wording, believing they would 
want to retain the spirit of the original stanza. I offer the following 
modification of its lines on their behalf. 

O Canada, our heritage, our home. 

Be thou our love, wherever we may roam. 

From sea to sea, throughout thy length. 

From pole to borderland, 

As free men all, whate'cr befall. 

United shall we stand. 

Lord give us peace ; God save our Queen ; 

Guide thou the Commonwealth do we implore, 

And prosper Canada from shore to shore. 


Victoria, B.C. 
January 21, 1964. 


Item # EarlyVan_v7_1 1 1 





Words by Brig-adier General Lawrence Buchan, C.v.o.,C.M.G. 

The Melody by Calixa Lavallee. 

HarmonLzed and arrangtscl by Price ten ctfUs. 


London: NOVELLO f COMPANY, Limited. 






O Catl - a - da! our her - i - tage, our , love, 

O Can- a - da! our her- i- tage, onr love, 

O Can- a - da! our her - 1 - tage, our love, 


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Can - a - da! our her - i - tage, our love. 

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Thy worth we praise all oth-er lands a - bove. Fiom sea to sea, through' 

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Thy worth we praise all oth-er lands a - bove. From sea to sea, through- 


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^ Thy_ worth we praise at! other lands a - bove 


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■uut thv length, from pole to bor-der - land, Ati_ Bril - ain's side, what - 




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out thy length, from pole to bor-drr - land, At Brit-*in's side, what 


^mu-X±^ .^ 

At Brit - ain's side, what 

-e'er be-tlde, uii-flinch-ing-Iy_we'll stand. 


With heart we sing', 


-e'er be tide, un- flinch-ing-ly we'll stand. 



With heart we sing. 




-e'er be tide, un- flinch-lng-Iy we'll stand. 

With heatl we sing. 

-e'er be4ide, un- flinch-ing-ly we'll stand. With heart we sing, 






"God Save the King" 

"Guide Thou the Era-pire wide" do we Im ■ 


"God Save the King;' "Guide Thou the Era-pire wide',' do we im- 


"God Save the King" 

'Guide Thou the Em-pire wide',' do we . im ■ 


"Guide Thou the Empire wide',' do we im ■ 


NomUn^ Company, iSAEnfravtn It Prinltrs. 137H3 



—David Oi'im-miiimkr, Miivor, 1888 

The Naming and Opening 


Stanley Park 

27 SEPTEMBKR, 1888 


A tribute from the citizens ol Vancotivcr 
to the sixty-seven Park Comniissioners who 
have served in that capacity during the 
years 1888 to 1948. 



September, 1948 



Address of Major J. S. Maillinux, City Arcliwisi, Vancouver, 
to cominemoraU the sixtieth miniz/ersmy of the naming and 
opening of Stanley Parii, Vancouver, Canada, al a banquet 
given by the Board of Park Commixsinners in the Stanley Park 
Pavilion, Stanley Park, on 27th Sefnembev, ]9-}H, al 6 j).ni. 

Mr. Chainium; \'(>ur Worship; Ladies and Gentlemen: 

All prcseiu aioiind ilicsc ial)k's, save mvself, are now, or have been. 
Park Conmnssioners, or are relatives of Conniiissioucrs, or are Park 
otlicials. 1 alone speak lor ihc ciii/ens; many ihotisands ol them, some 
ot wlioni are gone, some iiere loclay, others who will he coming in the 
lonfjf years to be. I bring yon tlieir united good wishes, iheir gratitude 
for your sixty years of labor, and ilieir enrouragenient as you com- 
mence your 

"Westward the sireain of empires wends its way. 
The four lirsi act.s already [jassed. 
'Ihe hlih shall {i\k\ the drama of ihe ilav. 
Time's noblest offspring is the last." 

Foriy years aller liishop llerkeley penned tliose Hues, the Spaniard, 
Karvae/,, sailing in and out and roiuid about in English Bav, 1791, was 
the first Emopean to see Stanley Park. He named it I'linta de la 
Bodega-our Fergnson Point. 'Ihe Bishop had in mind the empires of 
Babylon, tireece. C.aniiage, and Rome, the ■'lonr lirsi acts", and, lastly, 
America, "lime's nobkrst oli spring". He died in 17.")'}, when Capi! 
'Vancouver M'as a babe in arms; ivhen New York liad a pof)nlaiion of 
22.000, ami when British Columbia was shown on the inajjs as ilie 
"Western Sea". 

Narvaez was the first while man to see ihe western mainhiud shore 
of Clanada, and he saw n at Siaidey Park; there was no earlier 
discovery. In the Caty of Vancomer. Bodega, now Stanley Park, is the 
oldest name. But Narvaez saw the EnglisJi Hay side only. Next year 
Capt. Vancouver passed through the Narrows, and saw the other side, 
and this is what he wrote: 

"tliis island (Stanley Park), lying exactly across the channel, 
a|)pears to form a similar passage? {Lost i.agoon) to the south 
of it, with a .sitiailer island (I)eadmans) lying ijcfore it." 
Queen Victoria's proclamaiion of August, 1858, proclaims that- 
"this wild and tniO(:cu|)ied land on the north west coast of 
North America shall henceforth be called lirilish Columbia", 

Then she sent the Royal Engineers to estahlLsh ci\ il administration. 




1 h;i\u it) iin h;ind ;i page toin from lotlay's telephone directory; 
'it reads in part: 

■■Scales, j. H., ?i520 Main Si.. FAiniiont 4381-R". 

Three years ago, 20ih Ortobcr, 1945. Mr, and Mrs. Scales were \(Hir 
dintRT guests in iliis Pavilion and you conferred upon Mr. Scales the 
Freedom— tlie only one— of thv j'arks of Vancouver, and preseiUed 
iheni with an illuminated aildress. Tomorrow we send a Mieath. 
Mr. .Scales passed away at his home on Saun-day evening. He was one 
of the child passengers of ilie Thami-.s [jiv-aud the last survivor— 
which brought the Roval Engineers, to British Columbia. 18,')9. and 
was 1)1 years old on 2(>ih [loie last. Inn was young enough lo svniboli/e 
the recentncss of ii all. for he slept in Stanley Park when the only 
habitations on the bonidered beach of the whole of Vancouver 
Harbour were two whiiemcn's cabins, an empty shed, and two small 
pioneer sawmills. 

"I wish Corporal Turner and partv to proceed lo Huiiaid 
Inlet and siir\ey lands, etcetera" 

wrote Colonel Moody, Royal Engineer, on a scrap of pajier iu 1X();{. 
Corporal Turner and party came in boats; there were no roads: they 
made the first siir\'e\ of Siaule\ Pai"k; called it 'Coal l'eiiinsul;i'— it 
adjoined CavaI 1 larboiu' — marked Chief Kbahisahlano's home, 
(Kiisilano) on tlieir map; al Chaviboos just inside l*ros|Hc t Point. 
Later, the sawmillers came, cleared the forest off our iirockton Point 
cricket grounds; thought better of it and left. The fishermen scfuai^ed 
at Village liay nearby, and boiled herring to make machine oil: one 
of them buih the sloop Mormcnc; :Siar by the Nine o'Clock Gun. 

Mourneis binied their dead at Ihockloii I'oitu in oui" hrst gra\e- 
yard. The wild cattle iu the park were not dangerous; it was the 
awftd rrasliing of bushes, and the thiuidering noise the frightened 
beasts made as they bolted away at tlie ajiproach of men, which was 
so startling. 

lint Bodega. Coal Peninsula, Sianle\' Park, remained, as ii had 
ever been, a sileiu wilderness, hidden beniaili a dense h)rest of huge 
trees towering